Kettering University students challenged to make water distribution more efficient in Flint

"These are all challenges that we need to plan for and we hope this challenge will help develop solutions for water distribution in the city.”

The Student Association of Global Engineering (SAGE), formerly Engineers Without Borders, is offering students a chance to win $1,000 by participating in the Kettering University Water Distribution Challenge.

The challenge: develop creative solutions to common obstacles during water distribution efforts in the city of Flint over the past few months. Teams of two must construct and visually display a viable solution that uses specified resources to meet delivery requirements and overcome the given obstacles. Each team must also design a system that will allow households to effectively signal when replenishment is needed.

“We are hoping for creative solutions for the real-life predicaments that volunteers and National Guard members are facing in the city of Flint,” said Tanay Nagireddy, Industrial Engineering major and student organizer of the challenge.

The challenge is open to all Kettering students and  is sponsored by the Office of the President. The first-place prize will receive $1,000 while the second- and third-place finishers each get $750 and $500 respectively.

“Volunteers in the National Guard have encountered numerous challenges during their distribution efforts,” Nagireddy said. “They have gone to apartment complexes where there’s only one flight of stairs or the parking lot was too far away from the residents or they needed a custodian to open each of the gates to the complex. These are all challenges that we need to plan for and we hope this challenge will help develop solutions for water distribution in the city.”

The projects will be judged on creativity, maximizing available resources and efficiency (how many individuals get water in a given amount of time). The results of the project will be shared with the American Red Cross as they are currently leading water distribution efforts in Flint. Dr. Laura Sullivan and Lawrence Navarre are the faculty advisors for the competition and will also serve as judges.

To participate in the challenge, students need to submit the following with their names, student ID numbers and unique team name:

  • Challenge solution timesheet with a visual representation and clear and orderly descriptions of the plan.
  • A maximum 5-minute video to enhance the presentation (optional)

All solution materials must be submitted in this Google Drive folder by April 18.

Below are the resources to participate in the challenge:

For information on the contest, contact Tanay Nagireddy at nagi8738@kettering.edu. More information on Kettering University’s efforts related to water.


Written By Pardeep Toor | Contact: Pardeep Toor - ptoor@kettering.edu - (810) 762-9639