The Engineering Newsletter

U of T Design Team places second in design competition


By Barbara McKechnie

The U of T Design Team scored second place in the Student Design Competition, organized as part of the 82nd Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC'09) in Orlando, FL, on October 11, 2009.

The team won for their design in the wastewater competition, and marked the first time a Canadian team participated in the WEFTEC competition.

The achievement of this student design team is significant for a number of reasons, according to CivE Professor Barry Adams, who served as academic advisor to the group.

First, this was an entirely voluntary activity. The students engaged in this design project because they were inherently interested in design and in furthering their education and skills development. Second, they tackled a real world problem – that of designing an actual sewage pumping station. Third, they applied themselves with 'skill and vigour'. Such projects require substantial time and effort (i.e. dedication). Lastly, they achieved excellence as a result of the former, Adams cited.

“It is a laudable distinction to achieve such a high ranking in a competition involving numerous other design teams from universities across the continent,” Adams said.

The Design Team members include: Sherif Kinawy (CivE); Luccia (Lyutfiye) Gafarova (ChemE); Rafiq Qutub (Environmental ChemE); and Tony Tsui (CivE).

“It was my singular pleasure to act as the faculty advisor to this team," said Adams. "I was deeply impressed by their steady commitment to the pursuit of excellence and by their delightful personalities. Such experiences provide me with great optimism for the future generation of engineers leaving the University of Toronto.”

All teams presented different designs in wastewater treatment and stormwater management. A panel of six judges from prominent consulting firms evaluated the presentations and design reports submitted by the participating teams.

This year's Student Design Competition featured two design tracks: Wastewater Design and Environmental Design. Eight U.S.-based universities also participated in the competition.

For more information on this year's competition, visit

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