Chatham High School seniors Amira Mouline and Alexandra Shaw attended the 2017 American Water Works Association (AWWA) New Jersey Fall Conference, which was focused on water sustainability.

The students were paired with mentors, who are professionals in the fields of environmental protection and water management. The conference was held at the Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth on October 3rd.

Mouline and Shaw were selected to attend because they earned first place for high school students in the American Water Works Association water filter building competition last March in Atlantic City. Their design placed third overall in the competition, which included undergraduates and graduate students.

Sign Up for E-News

“I really enjoyed the experience because our mentor took the time to explain the physics behind what we were doing," Shaw said. "Then we were able to apply fluid mechanics to improve our design’s effectiveness.”

Shaw was paired with mentor Brian Van Nortwick, an employee of H2M who works in water resources designing large-scale water filters for water filtration plants.

Moline was paired with Kristin Tedesco, an environmental engineer at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The purpose of the mentorship program is to develop an on-going personal and professional relationship with water professionals, who can provide guidance to mentees regarding college advice, resources for students interested in engineering, and internship information.

“The Fall Conference gave me a chance to meet people who work in water engineering across New Jersey," Mouline said. "My mentor works at the Department of Environmental Protection, so I got to learn about the efforts New Jersey is doing to protect our water supply and environment.”

During the conference, the students were provided the opportunity to interact with their respective mentors, as well as to network with industry professionals. They also enjoyed exposure to the day’s full technical session.