Category Archives: ECi

ACE ECi 2014

The Environmental Challenge International (ECi) for 2014 has been announced!

SEEDS, in collaboration with the A&WMA Ottawa Valley Chapter want to send a group of students from Ottawa to represent us in this challenge.

What is the ECi?  ECi is a student competition that takes place during the annual A&WMA conference.  Students are challenged to propose a solution to a given problem, and present it in both a poster presentation and a public forum style presentation.  The competition is being hosted in Long Beach, California, USA this June!

Carleton University has competed three times in the past, and has always represented the university well.  This year we wish to bring more students from the University of Ottawa on board.  The ECi is an amazing opportunity for students to compete internationally, network internationally, and develop their poster and presentation skills. Plus, there are large cash prizes!  (which students from Carleton have won several times in the past.)

The competition this year will be to propose an environmental plan to perform a dredging operation.  The full problem statement can be found here.

In order to put together a team, we need you to email your interest to asap.  If we receive enough interest, we’ll host a mini-competition among those who want to go.  This format of the mini-competition will be to draft the proposal required for the actual ECi, so in that way it’s a great prep round.

Once a team is formed, SEEDS will offer any support and advice that we can, including organizing mock presentations to local professionals to get a real-world perspective on the proposal.

In order to qualify, you must be a student, and able to travel to the US this June.

Dates & Deadlines are all tentative but will be posted soon.  Roughly however,

  • April 1st – Deadline to email informing SEEDS of your interest in participating.
  • Late April – Mini-Competition to determine term to sponsor
  • Early May – Refine your proposal and have it reviewed by previous competition attendees and local experts.
  • Late May – Submit proposal to competition
  • First week of June – Present your poster to a panel of former competition attendees.
  • Second week of June – Present your idea (full mock presentation) to local industry professionals
  • Late June – Fly off to California and win!

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Filed under AWMA, Competition, Conference, ECi, Professional Deveopment

Eci Wrap-Up

Shalini here, reporting back from the 2012 Environmental Challenge International (ECi) competition at the AWMA conference in San Antonio, Texas. This year’s challenge presented a problem that is increasingly a point of contention in the enviro-sphere, that is, the issue of hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, for natural gas extraction.  The premise of the competition was that our team’s role was that of a environmental consulting firm, representing a local school board in the county of Karnes, Texas, which was intending to lease some of their land for oil and gas development using fracking.  The competition gave us a sample of a number of different points in the whole process, starting with the submission of a short proposal outlining the details of the development that was to take place.  Next up was the poster presentation, where we answered questions from judges and role-players pretending to be residents of the community.  I felt that the poster, as well as the presentation that followed, gave the undergrads on our team the chance to dip our toes into the world of academic conferences, so that if we ever return to present research as graduate students, we might be better prepared.  But for me, the biggest surprise was the way the competition got us involved in the topic we were studying.

There’s something about being immersed in a dialogue about an issue that I previously knew next to nothing about, but that is currently affecting the lives of tens of thousands of our neighbours to the South.  Somehow, even though the battle over fracking rages on in the States, and increasingly internationally, most people I have talked to know are unaware of what it actually entails.  Being forced to consider the different viewpoints and arguments surrounding the issue – and to evaluate them for myself – gave me a new perspective on the roles and responsibilities of environmental professionals.  Time and time again in our research material, and in talking to experts in various fields, I kept coming up with the same common thread; that we have to be the ones asking the questions, doing the math, checking and re-checking facts – because if we don’t, who else will?

At any rate, the experience of the competition was very positive.  I was overwhelmed by the number of people who took the time out of their busy schedules to support us in our endeavor; including the group of professionals that the local AWMA chapter arranged for us to meet with prior to the conference, and the judging panel at the competition itself, who helped us learn just as much as they were evaluating us.  Not to mention, the friendly atmosphere of the competition as a whole, and the number of students we met from universities all over North America.

If you ever have the chance to go yourself, take it from me – you won’t regret it!

Shalini Gupta


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The Ottawa Valley Executive of the Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA) and SEEDS would like to invite you to our Open House, which is set to take place on Thursday October 13 at 7pm in room 132 Azrieli Pavillion.

This evening will include:

  • A presentation by Mr. Bill Wong, P.Eng, a senior project manager and a process specialist, has over 25 years of technical and business experience in the environment, energy and healthcare sectors. An abstract of his presentation titled Innovation in Renewable Energy Technologies and Applications can be found below.
  • Information and benefits of joining the A&WMA and SEEDS (Networking, Scholarships, Awards)
  • Presentation by students who placed 2nd at the A&WMA’s student competition, the Environmental Challenge International (ECi) in Orlando, Florida
  • A chance to network with local professionals on opportunities for recent grads in the environmental field

The event is free to attend and light refreshments will be served. However, space is limited so please RSVP by clicking here.

Azrieli Pavilion is located between the Tory Building and Dunton Tower along Library road. For a more detailed map please click here.


Innovation in renewable Energy Technologies and Applications 

Solar and wind power has become more mainstream. Solar hot water systems are readily available across Canada. Where are the new opportunities for renewable energy integration into our built-environment? What are the barriers? How can we move to the next level of sustainable energy management in our communities? Through several project examples audience will learn about innovative ways of renewable energy technology integration and work to shape the future of our communities.

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Filed under AWMA, ECi, Events, Professional Deveopment, Renewable Energy, SEEDS Carleton, Social

The ECi Competition is over!!

We have some great news!

Tuesday night was very late night finishing off the presentation with the tweak. We got up early to practice and make it to the conference. We drew for the second spot to present and we did great. We got some tough questions from the judges but they were fair. After all the presentations were done we attended the awards ceremony for student posters and presentations, as well as the ECi. We came in second place!!

We were so excited after all that hard work. The University of Florida got first place with some great ideas. We had fun celebrating with our sparkly Mickey ears and took lots of photos. We came back for our first swim in the hotel pool (finally) and then went to a great Irish pub in downtown Disney for supper and unexpected entertainment (live music and Irish dancing). Hooray!

Today we attend some technical sessions and the Awards Luncheon and Ceremony. Michelle was disappointed there were no talks related to her research and Nicole missed anything related to her research because it was yesterday morning. But hey – we learned something!

This afternoon we are off to Typhoon Lagoon for some water park fun! Thanks again to everyone for your support and we can’t wait to talk more about the conference when we get back.




We are ready for the presentation

The SEEDS Team and the massive presentation screen.

We won Second Place!

The ceremony

Do the A-W-M-A!

The Silver Poster

Finally... some much deserved time in the pool.

The Orlando Vistal Hotel (also known as the pineapple hotel).

The dream Land


Filed under AWMA, Competition, ECi

ECi Team in Orlando!

Hi everyone! We made it to Orlando, and it is soooooooooooo hot.

Michelle R, Nicole and Erqin arrive on Saturday and we spent the first 2 days trying to get our poster finished and printed. It took much longer than planned but we were so relieved when it was finished!! You can see it in a picture below.

Straight off the airplane, working on the poster.

Sunday we played mini-golf before getting caught in a huge storm. We then visited Downtown Disney to start our tourist adventure! We spent Monday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and had a great time. It was definitely a hot day but we saw some cool animals and attractions, including a Lion King show that was amazing.

Erqin’s first time mini-golfing!

Joining the Rainforest Café animals!

Frog eyes anyone?

Bug eyes anyone?

The Festival of the Lion King.

To Africa!

Giraffes on a safari ride.

A wobbly bridge at Animal Kingdom.

The Tree of Life in the background.

Michelle C arrived Monday evening and we finalized our poster presentation. Today was an early day to get to the conference for a student breakfast and ECi orientation. This afternoon was the poster presentation and it went great!! We interacted with judges and role players from the problem scenario. We think we did a great job 🙂

Michelle at the Coronado Springs resort.

Our team and our poster – finally!

Michelle squared talking with judges

Tonight there was a Grand Reception for all conference attendees – it’s huge! They needed more chairs. Tonight we are very tired but we need to finalize our presentation for tomorrow. We are hoping to catch some technical sessions too. we’ll post again tomorrow – thanks for reading!

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Thank You to our Partners

The SEEDS Team competing in the Environmental Challenge International as part of the A&WMA Annual Conference and Exhibition would like to thank all our partners who helped getting them to Orlando:

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Solar Energy Map

While the SEEDS Team is putting the final touches on their poster, check out this article from the New York Times that talks about the potential for solar panels on the rooftops in New York (*article: “Mapping Sun’s Potential to Power New York”*). It’s like that old saying: “every little bit counts”!

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The SEEDS Team needs your help!

This year's SEEDS Team for the ECi, Michelle, Nicole, Michelle and Erqin (from left to right).

On May 14th students came to school on a Saturday to hear from experts and work on their proposal in the hope of becoming the team selected to compete in the Environmental Challenge International. Since then, a team of students has been selected and we are very happy to announce that our SEEDS Team will be composed of Nicole, Michelle C., Erqin, Michelle R. and Chris. Congratulations team! The team had to propose how to increase the percentage of renewable energy use in the US from 8% to 25% by the year 2025. Sounds simple but in actuality it is a complex problem. They basically had to solve one of today’s major environmental problems while considering environmental impacts, impacts on society and how feasible each technology is to implement.

They put together a solid proposal but… now we need your help! The team now has to travel to Orlando Florida (I know, what an unfortunate place for a competition 😉 ) to compete against international teams in the Environmental Challenge International. So, if you’ve got some cash to spare and would like to contribute getting the team to the competition then please hit that donate button below! All donations are greatly appreciated (even if you can only spare $20). You never know, maybe next year you will be part of the SEEDS team.

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Filed under Academic, ECi, Events, SEEDS Carleton


Please help the SEEDS Team get to Orlando Florida to compete against schools across North America  in the Environmental Challenge International by donating now! For this year’s challenge students developed a proposal, poster and oral presentation of how the U.S. can increase it’s use of renewable energy to 25% by the year 2025. You can donate securely to SEEDS by clicking on the image below using Paypal. Any amount is greatly appreciated and will go along way in making sure we kick butt in Orlando!

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