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Students compete in international environmental design challenge

Two teams of Ohio University students recently attended the 21st International Environmental Design Contest at the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, N.M.

The design contest, which was hosted by New Mexico State University's Institute for Energy and the Environment, was designed to challenge students to solve technical problems ranging from CO2 emissions to disinfecting rural water sources.
The Ohio University teams competed against teams from 13 other universities, including one from Canada. This year, 19 teams attended the contest to showcase their innovative solutions to design challenges posed by the Institute for Energy and the Environment.
For the contest, the OHIO teams submitted a design for reverse osmosis membrane cleaning and a design for a clean energy water purification system. In addition to the technical demands of the competition, the time commitment during the intense four-day event challenged the group. OHIO received the Bechtel Award in 2005.
The Ohio University teams were advised by Ohio University Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering faculty members, Darin Ridgway and Daniel Gulino.

When asked what keeps him coming back, Ridgway said he thinks the contest is a good program for students and makes them better engineers. In addition, the students "learn how hard it is to do a big project and how easily time gets away from you."

Students were also recognized for their contributions to the contest.

"All of you collectively are doing a great thing," Ricardo Jacquez, dean of the College of Engineering at NMSU said to the student teams in his closing remarks. He told the audience that engineers and scientists create technology, business, industry, and ultimately wealth to contribute to the strength of the nation.
This year, the contest was sponsored by the State of New Mexico, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Intel Corporation, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. More information is available online at http://iee.nmsu.edu/.