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New Jersey American Water Engineers Make Pocket Protection Fashionable & Functional

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- During National Engineering Week, some 40 engineers from New Jersey American Water enjoyed a moment of levity from tackling infrastructure improvements to tackle a problem that plagues the more learned sect: How to build the pocket protector of the future.

New Jersey American Water's "Next Generation Pocket Protector Contest" tested the engineers' creativity and challenged their abilities to develop grandiose concepts from limited resources as they vied for the top three prizes. Using materials such as sticks, bottles, solar panels, string, drinking straws, and even plastic utensils the ultra-competitive engineers worked hard to best each other to turn standard, white pocket protectors into futuristic designs. The contest categories were themed to represent the considerations engineers undertake when building sustainable projects.

The Grand Prize was won by Joanna Diamond, a planning engineer from New Jersey American Water's parent company, American Water,  who designed a solar-powered protect protector that could be used to charge an iPhone. The "Clean Energy Design" award went to Minerva Cubero, a New Jersey American Water engineering specialist, whose pocket protector doubled as a power-producing windmill. Jim Scott, a New Jersey American Water senior engineering project manager, won best "Resource Conservation Design," made from 100 percent cardboard and featuring a lever to which a pen was tethered and could be removed from the pocket protector without being dropped or misplaced.

The three prize winners and other entrants donned their designs in their shirt pockets for an informal fashion show during an Engineering Week luncheon held at New Jersey American Water's Delaware Rivers Regional Water Treatment Plant in Delran, NJ last Thursday.  

"While a good time was had by all who entered, the pocket protector contest demonstrates how, on a larger scale, engineers find innovative solutions that impact all of our lives," said Suzanne Chiavari, vice president of engineering at New Jersey American Water. "Pocket protectors guard our clothes when the integrity of an ink pens fail. Similarly, our engineers, and engineers all across the nation are meeting the challenges of failing infrastructure by designing and building upgrades and replacements to provide reliable water, smooth roads and stable bridges."

New Jersey American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million people.  Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company.  With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. More information can be found by visiting

SOURCE New Jersey American Water

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