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Kevin Huo, B.S. Environmental Engineering ‘19

Leader of the EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge at UC San Diego

Member of Engineers for a Sustainable World 

What is the EPA RainWorks Challenge?

Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency hosts the Campus RainWorks Challenge competition to challenge students to rethink and re-plan stormwater practices on their campuses. The UC San Diego team’s goal is to draft a master plan for the Triton Pavilion area with written and visual communication. The team aspires to gain an in-depth understanding of green infrastructure and planning and the real-world parameters of a master plan by working with planning staff and faculty.

Please explain the issues regarding the sustainability of our water and how this project is helping to solve it.

Water is an extremely precious resource and stormwater runoff is a huge factor in ocean contamination. The first rainfall of the season picks up pollutants on the ground and carries them all to the ocean. The Campus RainWorks Challenge is designed to draft a master plan to implement infrastructure to collect that stormwater runoff and have it be absorbed into the ground, preventing a majority of the pollutants from entering the ocean.

What got you interested in sustainability and how did you first get involved with the Campus RainWorks Challenge?

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

From The Lorax, sustainability is an extremely important issue because the resources we have today are the only resources we have. I heard about the EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge a few weeks before school started and decided that it was a great opportunity to learn new ways to push for sustainability while improving my professional skills. The project is a model example of how opportunities are always out there and learning isn’t exclusive to the lecture hall.

What other sustainability-related projects have you worked on?

In the past, I have worked on Lotus, a river filtration project, from Engineers for a Sustainable World. The conceptual goal was to design and place airfoil-shaped pillars into the river and bounce floating trash onto the shore while gradually filtering out river water pollutants.