FAU Team Wins International Solid Waste Design Competition

By Kelsie Weekes | Oct. 04, 2017

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SWANA Award

A student team from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science recently took home first place at the International Solid Waste Student Design Competition at the Joint International Solid Waste Association World Congress/Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) annual Wastecon in Baltimore, Maryland. The competition, now in its third year, provides design experience to students who are interested in pursuing a career in solid waste management.

The FAU team, Owl Consultants, was faced with a “real world” design problem and conducted a cost-benefit analysis to determine the most preferred waste processing option. In the scenario, a local Solid Waste Authority was experiencing a downturn in the recycling market. Owl Consultants identified two alternatives to the county’s current recycling operations: incinerating all recyclables or recycling fibers only. After conducting a weighted and unweighted engineering alternative analysis, Owl Consultants recommended that the Solid Waste Authority continue its current recycling strategy while trying to maximize collection of recyclables in its residential and commercial programs and employ a variety of strategies to reduce expenses.

“This competition is another great example of our students getting to practice what they have been learning in the classroom and through their research,” said Dan Meeroff, Ph.D., team advisor and associate chair and professor in FAU’s Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering. “The department is very proud of the team’s accomplishments, particularly because it was a great opportunity to showcase   students in our new environmental engineering program to the industry.”

Following their presentation, Owl Consultants was awarded first place and $2,500 in prize money. Team members include Andrea Garcia, Lisandre Meyer, Rohan Sethi, Bishow Shaha and Matthew Swaney.