Skip to main content

New to the Contest?

Click below to view our page dedicated to helping new teams get a head start at the contest. We include:

  • philosophy of the contest
  • suggested timelines for working on your project
  • what the judges are looking for, etc.

New Team Orientation ▸

Team Manual

The Team Manual. Your one-stop source for:

  • WERC policies, rubrics, Reports, Presentations, ESP
  • Flash Talk information
  • Helpful hints

The 2024 Team Manual supersedes any previous manuals or handbooks.

2024 Team Manual ▸

Faculty Manual

Advisor Manual

A brief introduction to the role of the faculty advisor, designed for first-time faculty.


  • Timelines
  • Role of Advisors and Co-Advisors
  • Steps for registering teams
  • Day-by-day advisor duties

Advisor Manual ▸

Flash Talks

Flash Talk Guidelines

Find information needed to prepare the Flash Talk that is not included in the TEAM manual, including:

  • PowerPoint template
  • Flash Talk updates
  • PowerPoint submission instructions

Flash Talks ▸



FAQs for each task are posted on the 2023 Tasks/FAQs page

Teams should check FAQs weekly, as updates are often made to tasks.

Teams are responsible for all information posted in the FAQs.

2023 Tasks/FAQs ▸

Report Template

Sample Papers

Below are papers written by teams from 4 universities that recently won first place. Other factors affected their overall score; do not expect each paper to be a perfect example of the best paper, but look at them for overall quality and characteristics. 

Look at these first:

Sample TechReport_Solar-Aquatic-Dentrification.pdf

Sample TechReport_CO2.pdf


Need More Examples? 

Sample TechReport_ARD-Waters.pdf

Sample TechReport_Pollution-Sensor.pdf

Sample TechReport_Virus-Detection.pdf

IEEE Manuscript Preparation

Teams invited after the contest to publish in IEEE Xplore will use the IEEE template. 



The ESP applies to all activities that take place in Las Cruces during the April contest.
When at their home university, teams should follow their institution’s laboratory safety policies.

ESP Info Page ▸

For First-Time Teams

Contest Info Webinar ▸

Award Categories

Award Categories

Each year, the WERC Design Contest and its sponsors award more than $25,000 in prizes in the following categories. Amounts shown are minimum amounts and may increase, according to funding.

Task awards (First, Second, Third Place; minimum amounts: $2500-$1000-$500, respectively).

The number of awards will depend on the number of entries in each task.
Awards are based on the judging rubric for written, oral, poster, and bench-scale components.

Freeport-McMoRan Innovation in Sustainability Award ($2500)

The selection process centers primarily on the bench-scale demonstrations and identifies the final product or solution that best contributes to sustainability.

WERC Resources Center Pollution Prevention/Energy Efficiency Award ($500)

Recognizes the team that best utilizes the concepts of P2 (pollution prevention) and E2 (energy efficiency) in their solution. Primary considerations: Reduction/elimination of waste, greenhouse gases, hazardous materials; Conservation of water and air; utilization of sustainable materials; energy efficiency.

Judges’ Choice Award ($500)

Peer Award ($250). Voted by all students who participate in the contest.

Terry McManus Outstanding Student Award. (Minimum: $500, according to funding).

All participating students are eligible for the Award. Recipients chosen based on letter from Faculty Advisor.

Flash Talk competition ($1000-$750-$500-$250). Separate team of judges.