ECi Competition

Air & Waste Management Association's 117th Annual Conference & Exhibition, Emissions Reductions for Sustainable Energy Futures, June 24-27, 2024, Calgary, AB

Get your team ready for this year's Environmental Challenge Competition!

Sponsored by:
A&WMA Sections and Chapters
ECi team posing for picture with awards
Student gesturing during presentation
Students presenting a PowerPoint slideshow
Student gesturing during presentation
ECi team posing for picture with awards
The Environmental Challenge International (ECi) Competition gives student teams experience with proposing effective solutions to a simulated environmental problem—a problem based on real-world site conditions and events. The teams will present their solution to a panel of environmental professionals at the Annual Conference in June.

Good luck to this year's ECi teams!
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Montana Technological University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Puget Sound
The ECi competition is open to undergraduate students, graduate students, Ph.D. candidates, and recent graduates (2023) in the environmental field. Teams should consist of 3 to 5 members.

ECi gives students the opportunity to put their knowledge to work. Team members will gain valuable experience working in a group, interacting with professionals, and solving problems. Plus, you get to visit Calgary, it looks good on a resume, and there's the potential to earn cash prizes!

Although the challenge is somewhat qualitative, teams will be expected to address a wide range of concerns related to the environment, energy, government, transportation and health. Teams will be evaluated based on a variety of issues, including how the problem is interpreted, how conclusions were determined, and how well the team can communicate its reasoning and judgements. In addition to the scientific and technical aspects of this competition, resolution of political and community issues along with appropriate regulatory approaches will be important.
2024 Challenge: Waste Management and Air Quality Challenges from Cattle Feedlots 
This year’s challenge focuses on a small community in the Alberta area, where contamination from an upgradient cattle feedlot has been impacting water and air quality. Groundwater from wells is measuring levels of nitrates above drinking water criteria; cattle are impacting air quality by emissions of methane and odors; and vulnerable children and adults have been impacted by dust and methane blown in by the wind. While the community supports the feedlot operations, they know something needs to be done to mitigate the environmental challenges. As a feedlot owner-operator with a major expansion planned, your assignment is to enact wastewater and air quality programs that provide sustainable, long-term emissions reductions that are also technologically feasible. You must research existing and proposed studies, policies, incentive programs, and best management practices related to waste emissions (both surface/groundwater and air) from feedlots and their health impacts on local communities. Your presentation should also include a critical review of Canada’s feedlot-related regulations and incentive programs.
Student teams must register for the ECi by emailing Trevor Newton (

Each team member must register for the ACE Conference to participate in the ECi.