The Beach Outfalls Challenge is a public prize competition sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). MORE


Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Date Accepted


Team Info

Syeed Md Iskander

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Team Quote

The trace nutrients present in the storm water can greatly hamper the aquatic ecosystem of the vast oceans. We have been using ocean as a panacea for myriad problems including discharging stormwater. However, the balanced aquatic diversity of the ocean can be destroyed because of this nutrient loading. Excess discharge of phosphorus and nitrogen originated from stormwater can lead to serious eutrophication problem, resulting in water discoloration, strong odors, and the release of toxins. Hence, it is important and necessary to remove these nutrients before discharging into sea.  As students of Environmental Engineering, there is no such joy to help the world solving these kind of problems. The unique attraction of this Beach Outfalls Challenge is the provision for pilot-scale application of the best design. To be honest, this is the most exciting thing that stuck us in this competition. As emerging environmental scientists, we have been participating in quite a handful of design competitions, however, none of our designs was implemented in pilot-scale. There is a great satisfaction in solving problems that humankind is enduring, and we hope our efforts will bring positive results and success in finding an effective and efficient solution to the Beach Outfalls Challenge.

Team Bios

Syeed Md Iskander
BS in Civil Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology MS in Environmental Engineering, Washington State University PhD in Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech (2nd Year) Currently working in the Environmental Biotechnology and Bioenergy Lab (EBBL) at Virginia Tech. Is broadly interested in resource recovery and contaminants removal from wastewater.

Akshay Jain
BTech in Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology PhD in Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech (2nd Year).

Currently working in the Environmental Biotechnology and Bioenergy Lab (EBBL) at Virginia Tech. My research involves bio-hydrogen production from food waste using bio-electrochemical systems focusing on microbial electrolysis cells. I am passionate about renewable and sustainable energy resources. I like to travel and explore new places.

Shiqiang Zou
BS in Environmental Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology MS in Environmental Engineering, Peking University MS in Chemistry, National University of Singapore PhD in Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech (2nd Year) My research mainly focuses on nutrient-energy-water (NEW) recovery from all types of wastewater through innovative reclamation technologies, for instance Forward Osmosis, Osmotic Membrane Bioreactor, and Thermoelectric Generator, to sustainably address some major challenges in 21st century, i.e. water scarcity, gradual nutrient depletion with increasing food demands, and energy shortage.

Additional Information

Facebook: @newseaVT

Twitter: @NEWSEA_VT

Semi-finalist Video



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