'Innovative' Cranfield University student project honoured with national water association prize (left to right) Rowan Pearce, Amanda Ramgobind, Samuel Yeboah Nyarko, Giacomo Tripodi, Kelvin Kipngetich Mutai, Cranfield lecturer Yadira Bajon Fernandez, Aisling Neil-Gallacher and British Water Chief Executive Lila Thompson Image:Cranfield University

Design for water management plant for ‘off-grid’ ecohotel

A team of students from Cranfield University has won an award from a national water association for designing an ‘innovative’ water scheme for an eco-friendly hotel.

Amanda Ramgobind, Giacomo Tripodi, Jingwen Deng, Kelvin Kipngetich Mutai, Rowan Pearce and Samuel Yeboah Nyarko – who are all studying for a Water and Wastewater Engineering MSc at Cranfield – were presented with the David Neil-Gallacher Prize in recognition of their group design project in front of more than 200 key industry professionals at the British Water annual lunch in London. The group received certificates and a cash prize.

The British Water group project is an applied, multi-disciplinary team-based activity where students are given a real industrial scenario. They are then asked to select and design the water and wastewater treatment facilities that will meet their clients’ criteria and relevant quality consents.

They must consider innovative processes, circular economy principles, options for water reuse, sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

The Cranfield team’s project, called Eco-Hotel, encompassed designing a drinking water, grey water and wastewater treatment plant for Eco-Stay’s flagship ‘off-grid’ ecohotel in Exeter.

As part of their solution, the students incorporated water-efficient fittings in bathroom taps, showers and toilets, sought to reduce laundry through the re-use of towels and bedding, and reused grey water for toilet flushing and food crop irrigation, reducing demand for potable water.

They also proposed a renewable energy scheme supplementing the hotel’s organic waste with community organic waste to produce electricity.

Professor Paul Jeffrey, Professor of Water Management and Director of Water at Cranfield University, said:

“The Eco-Hotel students worked very hard on their team project and I am delighted that the innovative solutions they designed have been recognised with this accolade.

“Our Water and Wastewater Engineering MSc aims to equip students with the skills to solve just such practical problems as this, so it is no surprise that our graduates are highly respected by industry and Government.”