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Flood Mitigation Contest

Calling all Engineering, Design, Architecture, and Planning Students

You Could Win $2,500

Second Place Prize – $1,000
Third Place Prize – $500

Philadelphia-area college students can use their skills to provide a creative solution to the increasing problem of flooding at the Fairmount Water Works during extreme weather events. When the building opened in 1815 as a pumping station, it was designed to take in water. Two hundred years later, the building is no longer used for that purpose, but instead is an environmental education destination at the river’s edge. 

Flood Mitigation in Light of Global Warming: A New Line of Work for the Next Generation

Global warming is impacting the habitat of all humanity. For the majority of cities, urgent planning and redesign are needed. New opportunities are abundant, and now is the time to build the knowledge base and educational systems to address these concerns locally and globally.

To register, contact Christiaan Morssink of the Global Water Alliance at

  • Registration is October 5 – October 31, 2015. It is strongly suggested that students form multidisciplinary teams.
  • Participants will be given access to technical data, reports, and other documents after registering.
  • Site visits to the Fairmount Water Works are recommended, and must be scheduled in advance, on Wednesdays and Fridays. Contact Garrett Selby, Building Manager, at
  • Participants are to submit designs to Christiaan Morssink by March 22, 2016 (World Water Day).
  • Submissions may be in poster, 3D mockup, CAD, or digital formats. Designs should be based on the use of modern weather forecasting, modern material and construction techniques, and state of the art computerized scenario calculations. Contestants should work with an eye toward frugality, and create a design ready for testing. Please note: the Fairmount Water Works is a historical landmark, and any flood mitigation design ideas cannot compromise the architectural integrity of the site. 
  • A panel of three judges (TBD) will assess the designs in terms of creativity, budgetary considerations, strength and longevity, complexity and feasibility. 

This contest is a project of the Global Water Alliance, Engineers Without Borders – USA Philadelphia Professional Chapter, the Fairmount Water Works, and the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia.