Students Win at International Environmental Design Contest


A team of undergraduates from the Bourns College of Engineering were among the winners at the 2017 International Environmental Design Contest, which was held April 2-5 by the WERC program at New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering. The competition brings industry, government, and academia together to find solutions to environmental challenges.

Hira Yoshihara, Thania Flores, Christian Urena, Stephen Boggs and Keith Frogue took first place in one of four challenges at the event for their development of a simple, cost-effective system to treat nitrated drinking water. Nitrates in well water, which can cause a host of health problems, have been increasing due to over-fertilization in agricultural areas, livestock manure on farms, and leakage from septic tanks in rural areas. The first place prize was $2,500. Yoshihara was also selected for the Terry McManus Outstanding Student Award.

Kawai Tam, an associate teaching professor, and David Jassby, an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering, mentored the team. Juchen Guo and Jinyong Liu, both assistant professors of chemical and environmental engineering, provided audits on the team’s report.

Ph.D Candidate to Conduct Agriculture Research in Vietnam

Holly Mayton

Ph.D. candidate Holly Mayton will be conducting research this summer at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Hanoi, Vietnam. She will focus on identifying opportunities for agriculture and health research to more effectively inform policy aimed reshaping diets to improve human health and sustainable utilization of natural resources.

RIFA offers early-career professionals enrolled in agricultural and development-oriented graduate programs at all University of California campuses the opportunity to plan, engage and implement two to six-month-long international projects in developing countries.

Mayton’s project will contribute to identifying critical decision-making needs, data gaps, and insights into the policy process. Mayton aims to overcome the barriers to effective policy interventions that can improve nutrition, health, and sustainability within Vietnamese food systems.


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