Milwaukee School of Engineering wins 2021 NCEES Engineering Education Award

Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department receives $25,000 grand prize for international design project

NCEES is pleased to announce that the Milwaukee School of Engineering is the grand prize winner of the 2021 NCEES Engineering Education Award. The university received the award for a project completed by the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department. The award jury met virtually on June 15, 2021, to select the $25,000 grand prize winner.

For the school’s project, Sustainable Improvements for Guatemalan Cardamom Spice Dryers, a team of primarily mechanical engineering students collaborated with professional engineers and other professionals to develop a low-cost metal attachment called a swirler, which is inserted into heat exchanger tubes in spice dryers. The swirler, at a one-time cost of two dollars, is made from sheet metal and a pair of tin snips and pliers. The solution will reduce deforestation and improve the overall quality of life in rural Guatemalan communities. The jury praised the project for providing an ingenious solution to an environmental issue.

The jury selected seven additional winners to receive awards of $10,000 each:

  • California State University, Los Angeles
    Department of Civil Engineering
    Sustainable Recycled Water Recharge Program
  • Christian Brothers University
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering
    GO BaBy Go—MROC
  • George Mason University
    Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering
    Water Supply, Distribution, and Storage, San Pablo de Amali, Ecuador
  • Lawrence Technological University
    Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering
    Oakland University Interdisciplinary Research Center 
  • Seattle University
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Home for the Homeless Using Cross Laminated Waste Stream
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln
    Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction
    Virginia Tech War Memorial Hall: Integrative Team Design
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Village Stormwater Mitigation

The NCEES Engineering Education Award recognizes engineering programs that encourage collaboration between students and professional engineers. EAC/ABET-accredited programs from all engineering disciplines were invited to submit projects that integrate professional practice and education.
A jury of NCEES members and representatives from academic institutions and engineering societies selected the winners from 48 entries. The jury members considered the following criteria:

  • Successful collaboration of faculty, students, and licensed professional engineers
  • Protection of public health, safety, and/or welfare of the public
  • Multidiscipline and/or allied profession participation
  • Knowledge or skills gained
  • Effectiveness of display board, abstract, and project description

Profiles of the winning submissions will be posted as available at

News release

Download the news release (PDF).