SFCC team wins WERC awards Spring 2020

Congratulations to an SFCC team, which earned WERC an (Waste-Management Education Research Consortium) Engineering NM Resource Network Pollution Prevention Award ($1500). SFCC student Zachary DeLay also was recognized with one of Intel’s Terry McManus Outstanding Student Awards ($1,000).

The competition is usually held in person at NMSU, but needed to shift quickly to an online environment. As with the traditional on-site contest, the teams submitted a 25-page technical report online prior to the contest. Presentations and questions were hosted on Zoom. This was the first time that SFCC participated in the challenge. There were eleven colleges and universities with 21 competing teams. SFCC was the only community college with a team.

SFCC’s team won for its solution of Heavy Metal Removal via Phycoremediation. See their brochure. Members of the SFCC’s Team Blue Nanno included Team Leader James MuirZachary DeLayNatasha FarmerAnnie PadillaJermiah StarOlivia Rivera and Oscar Lopez. Advisors were Frank Currie and Stephen Gómez, Ph.D. In the team’s oral presentation they also gave special thanks to: Ondine FrauenglassLuke Spangenburg and Miguel Maestas as well as sponsors The Algae Foundation, ATEC (Algae Technology Energy Consortium) and NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory).

James Muir, student Team Leader from Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) said, “Late night conference calls while we all talked and worked on the paper together is something I think I will never forget. The dedication by some of the team to work together through this challenging time where we could not meet or talk in person really helped build relationships with teammates that were very unique.”

Zachary DeLay was nominated as an “outstanding student” by Stephen Gomez, Ph.D. following a vote by team members. DeLay said, “I think students should consider doing this competition because it applies to real world problems that can be used to prepare students to think in the mindset of an engineering firm and consider all the variables that come into play while working on the project.”

Student Ann Padilla from SFCC sums up this year’s competition as: “An unforgettable experience of a lifetime that I will forever be proud of.”

Read the NMSU Press release 2020 WERC Environmental DC-Story-Awards and related NMSU 2020 WERC Contest Fact Sheet. See the team’s Oral Presentation.