STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Tarleton State University’s environmental/civil engineering team captured first place in the recent Water Environment Association of Texas Student Design Competition.


Teams in the annual competition, held this year on a virtual platform, represented nine Texas universities and one from Mexico.


Tarleton’s five environmental and civil engineering students topped Texas Tech and Texas A&M, which finished second and third, respectively. Other high-profile schools at the meet included UT Austin, the University of Houston and Tecnológico de Monterrey.


The team, led by John Lozano (Tarleton BS in environmental engineering, May 2020), designed upgrades for the city of Pflugerville’s wastewater treatment plant. The team’s faculty mentor, Dr. Kartik Venkataraman, associate professor in the Department of Engineering and Computer Science, said the project was a real-world design topic assigned by the WEAT coordinators.


Team members included Lozano, recent graduates Lucas Ringo and Josh Rangel, and seniors Shannon Lawless and Cruz Trujillo. They began work on their design in September 2019 with mentorship from Tarleton alums and 2018 third-place WEAT SDC winners Kevin Flinn and Ty Riebe and their supervisor, Tina Hanson, all from Garver Inc.


“The SDC was scheduled to be held in Fort Worth in April,” Venkataraman noted, “but was moved to a virtual setting due to covid-19. Despite the move, the team made an excellent professional presentation of their final design and submitted a comprehensive design report.”


Tarleton advanced to represent the WEAT Member Association at the National Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) scheduled for October in New Orleans.