Civil PhD Student Places Third in UNM Business Plan Competition

April 12, 2016

jake collisonJake Collison, PhD student in the Civil Engineering Department, and Rachael Stanton, class of 2011 Anderson Graduate School of Management, placed third place in this year's UNM Business Plan Competition. Their business, Agua del Sol Consultants, is focused on the accurate measurement of evaporation from lakes and reservoirs using their patent-pending floating evaporation pan technology. The floating evaporation pan is the cornerstone of Jake's PhD dissertation, and the prize money, $15,000, will be used to complete the research and validation phase. The intention of Agua del Sol Consultants is to replace the current inaccurate method, the class A pan, which was invented around the 1880s (before the light bulb!), with our 21st century technology. Proper management of water requires precise accounting of all the gains and losses within the system. One of the largest losses in the arid-southwest is due to evaporation, which the Class A pan is known to inaccurately measure by up to 75%. Replacing this outdated technology will enhance the management of water in New Mexico and other southwest states, which are already experiencing water shortages due to the current drought and changing climate.