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Clarkson University Environmental Design Team Places Fifth At National Competition
[A photograph of Clarkson's Environmental Design Team in New Mexico is available for newspaper use at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/werc.jpg]
In presenting their work to judges from industry and government, the team placed fifth overall in a field of 15 teams and received a Judge's Choice award for Best Process Control and Safety of their proposed design.
This is the seventh consecutive year that Clarkson has sent a team to the competition, which is sponsored by the Waste-Management Education and Research Consortium (WERC). Administered through the New Mexico State University at Las Cruces, WERC consists of the U.S. Department of Energy, three national laboratories, and the three New Mexico state universities.
As part of the contest, students were required to design a treatment process to remediate an actual hazardous and/or radioactive waste site in the United States. The proposed design solution had to address technical, legal, regulatory, economic and health and safety issues and the students were required to provide a business plan for the implementation of the full scale process.
The results of the students project had to be presented in the form of a written report, which had to be audited by four professionals for accuracy and completeness in each of the above non-technical categories. At the competition, students had to give an oral presentation, present a poster and a community relations brochure, and demonstrate the efficacy of the process using a bench-scale prototype, which had been built by the students prior to traveling to the competition.
Since the actual site is located in Silver City, N.M., students had to achieve a number of critical goals such as minimizing dust formation during the transport, conserving water, maximizing workers' safety, and ensuring community satisfaction. The students designed a process that transported the tailings in the form of a slurry under acidic conditions, which would result in the dissolution some forms of copper. The copper rich supernatant could then be separated using centrifugation from the solid material.
The students developed an optimization model to determine optimum leaching and operation parameters in order to minimize cost. Students staged two community meetings at Clarkson University during the spring semester to obtain feedback from a non-technical audience, which then was used to improve their design.
The interdisciplinary design team involved students from the Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Industrial Hygiene departments.
Students involved include: Civil and Environmental Engineering students Amy Adams, graduate student, Liverpool, N.Y.; Kate Ashley, '98, Rochester, N.Y.; Joel Bandstra, '98, Johnstown, Pa.; Andrew Bishop, '98, Lowville, N.Y.; Michelle Boschen, '01, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Tammy Boulais, '98, Massena, N.Y.; Christopher Burl, '98, Brasher Falls, N.Y.; James Candiloro, '98, Mt. Kisco, N.Y.; Andrew Corbin, '98, Brookfield, N.Y.; Corrinna Cyr, '98, Potsdam, N.Y.; Jeffrey Davoli, '98, West Seneca, N.Y.; Michael Egasti, '98, Norfolk, Mass.; Michael Giso, '98, Albany, N.Y.; Mary Ellen Hayward,'98, Chelsea, Vt.; Nicole Klanian, '99, Orchard Park, N.Y.; Carrie Lamy, '98 Warrensburg, N.Y.; Corinda Leonard, '98, Binghamton, N.Y.; Melissa Miller, '98, Bath, N.Y.; Crystal Montroy, '98, Canton, N.Y.; and Matthew Pelton, '98, Fayetteville, N.Y.; Chemical Engineering students Jennifer Briller, '98, Bellvale, N.Y., and Shannon Harty, '98, Marietta, N.Y.; Chemistry students Jason Keleher, '98, Schenectady, N.Y., and Jason Terry, '98, Baldwinsville, N.Y.; and Industrial Hygiene student Cindy Martin, '98, Potsdam , N.Y. Bishop, Burl, Harty, Keleher and Montroy represented the Clarkson team in Las Cruces at the competition.