| AWWA presents fresh take on annual research competition
AWWA Articles

AWWA presents fresh take on annual research competition

Up-and-coming researchers in the water community shared their discoveries at a recent virtual event hosted by the American Water Works Association (AWWA). 

Ten innovative students and young professionals presented posters on water-related topics during the real-time 2021 “Fresh Ideas” competition, followed by a lively question and answer session. Each participant represented an AWWA Section in the competition.

The top three winners were:

  • First – Utsav Shashvatt, Chesapeake Section, “Recovery of Ammonium, Phosphorus, and Potassium from Source-Separated Urine using Donnan Dialysis.”
  • Second – Paula Campesino, Florida Section, “Evaluating the Disinfection By-Product Formation Potential of a Highly Colored Volcanic Surface Water Supply.”
  • Third – Trisha Worthington, New England Section, “Preparing for the Rise.”

Utsav ShashvattShashvatt (pictured right), a graduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), was awarded $500 and the opportunity to publish an upcoming article in Journal AWWA. He credited his co-authors, UMBC undergraduate student Aiswarya Boby and Associate Professor Lee Blaney. 

“I thoroughly enjoyed presenting my work to the supportive and encouraging AWWA community,” he said. “I look forward to being involved in future engagements with AWWA.”

Paula CampesinoCampesino, a Florida graduate research assistant (pictured left), credited AWWA and the competition for enabling students and professionals to “explore the social side of the engineering world while gaining knowledge in the process.”

Worthington (pictured below), an environmental engineering student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, credited her co-authors Hannah Schulz, Emilia Perez, Lauren Kaija and Chase Gaudino. 

“My experience with AWWA has been a very rewarding one,” she said. “It was great to be able to meet and network with people from all over the country.”

Trisha WorthingtonJeff Blakely, chair of AWWA’s Young Professionals Committee, hosted the virtual competition. Stephanie Hubli and Ryan Hanson from the committee served as moderators. 

AWWA’s “Fresh Ideas” poster contest debuted at the Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE) more than a decade ago as part of its students and young professionals programming. Because of the pandemic, the contest was cancelled in 2020 and presented in a live, virtual format in April 2021. Participants included Section winners from 2020 and earlier this year.

Information about ACE21 All Virtual is available on the AWWA website.