A team of MSOE students and faculty has developed a proposal to use artificial intelligence to save billions of dollars annually by improving prediction of wastewater flow. Current technology for modeling and forecasting rainfall-caused wastewater flow in sanitary sewer systems is neither accurate nor precise.  

MSOE students Joshua Wankowski (software engineering) and Dennis Weiland (civil engineering), and faculty members Dr. William Gonwa (civil engineering) and Dr. Michael Cook (mechanical engineering) are developing a system that uses AI to improve rainfall-derived wastewater flow predictions. The improved predictions will help right-size future facilities and operate existing facilities more efficiently saving taxpayer funds and improving environmental protection.  

Their proposal was selected as one of 21 semi-finalists in the global “AI for Pipe Networks and Systems” tech challenge sponsored by The Water Council. The tech challenge is an even playing field for anyone with a smart, new freshwater technology idea to vet their concept with expert industry professionals from leading corporations and compete for a cash prize as well as an opportunity to work directly with a sponsoring corporation to turn that idea into a viable commercial product.  

The team, which is part of MSOE’s chapter of The Water Council, will work with MSOE’s Artificial Intelligence Club; the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department; and Dr. Gene Wright, CREATE Institute Faculty Fellow to continue advancing their project.