WERC History

The WERC Environmental Design Contest has a rich 33-year history at New Mexico State University.

The WERC Environmental Design Contest was established in 1991 as one facet of the "Waste-management Research Consortium" (WERC). The consortium was a joint effort between the Department of Energy, Sandia National Labs, New Mexico State University, University of New Mexico, and Dine College. This was a progressive new engineering program having the primary goal of teaching engineering students how to manage and prevent waste.

WERC Today

The design contest lives on in the WERC legacy. We have broadened our scope and are much more than a waste-management program. We invite students from across the country to design engineering systems that address the Water, Energy, and Climate Nexus. In addition to managing waste, students are now focusing their designs on minimizing energy & waste and conserving & recycling resources, including water, energy, and natural resources. We will reveal the new meaning of the W-E-R-C acronym this Spring.

About Us

The WERC Environmental Design Contest is a unique design competition that unites industry, government, and academia in search for solutions to today’s environmental challenges in ALL fields of engineering.

WERC invites undergraduate engineering students from across the United States and abroad to experience the steps required to answer an engineering Request for Proposals (RFP). Design challenges (“tasks”) are selected to address emerging areas of environmental concern across a broad spectrum of engineering disciplines. The tasks are designed by our partners in industry and government agencies to reflect real-world parameters, and they are open-ended to leave opportunity for innovation and creativity.