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Environmental Engineering
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2015 Design Team

Environmental Design Team Wins Award at Environmental Design Contest

The 2015 Montana Tech Environmental Design Team competed at the 25th IEE/WERC Annual Environmental Design Contest in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The team won the IEE Resources Center Pollution Prevention/Energy Efficiency Award for their project titled, “A Sustainable Approach to the Treatment of NORM in Produced Waters Associated with Oil and Gas Production.” The team’s solution is to treat the water in a cost effective way using electrocoagulation to avoid the contamination of naturally occurring radioactive materials in the pipe systems while handling produced water. The team members consisted of Brenna Ferko, Melissa Kottke, Samantha Hutcheson and Kelly Doble.


WERC’s Environmental Design Contest is a unique event that brings together industry, government and academia in search of improved environmental solutions. The event challenges students to solve technical problems ranging from validation of water treatment technology to improving product stewardship. For the contest, students present and demonstrate their research and design solutions. The proposed solutions provide opportunities to address concerns about water, energy, and the environment.

The team is advised by Environmental Engineering Department Head, Dr. Kumar Ganesan and Dr. Raja Nagisetty.

Another team was sent to Las Cruses to complete. The team consisted of four members: Dylan Uecker, Garrett Craig, Kelly Benton and Terry Biere. The title of their project was “Electrocogulation for Sulfate Removal.” This team’s project was on determining the efficiency of using electrocoagulation as a treatment process to remove high concentrations of sulfates from well water. Based on data gathered through experimentation, a bench scale model was designed that would most adequately remove sulfates from well water, while still being economically viable.


Three Environmental Engineering teams attended and competed in the 4th Annual TECHxpo on April 30, 2015.  Brenna Ferko, Samantha Hutcheson, Melissa Kottke and Kelly Doble’s team won Montana Tech’s Best in Show and Best in the Environmental Department.


A Sustainable Approach to the Treatment of NORM In Produced Waters Associated with Oil and Gas Extraction
          Brenna Ferko, Samantha Hutcheson, Melissa Kottke, Kelly Doble

Electrocoagulation for Sulfate Removal
         Garrett Craig, Dylan Uecker, Kelly Benton, Terry Biere

Electrochemical Demulsification of Oil and Water
         Erik Faaborg, Matt Abrahamson, James Adamo