MADMEC finals spotlight promising materials science prototypes

Technology that utilizes light to completely clean water filtration in real time won the 2018 MADMEC competitors on Oct. 9.

The team that created the machine, Fiat Flux, obtained the $10,000 grand award after five student teams presented their benefits from five-month materials research competitors. Each team, made-up totally of present MIT pupils, spent summer time participating in mini-contests and feasibility studies that encouraged hands-on experimentation.

Fiat Flux, that was additionally an MIT wash Energy semifinalist in 2010, makes use of light to trigger a chemical reaction that combats the buildup of dirt alongside foulants in membrane-based water filtration systems. The foulants can lead to degradation, enhanced power expenditures, high operating pressures, as well as other inefficiencies that will cut these types of systems’ efficiency by over fifty percent.

“We’ve done interviews with people on the go plus they all inform us the same: These [filtration] membranes never ever run within price these are typically designed to,” said Fiat Flux Chief tech Officer Alvin Tan, who is seeking a PhD in materials science and manufacturing at MIT.

With approximately a 3rd for the world’s population currently residing water-stressed regions, the answer delivers a prospective road to improving accessibility clean water.

The Gryffindor group took house the second-place award of $6,000 following its three people, all of whom tend to be products technology graduate students, created a relatively inexpensive system for effortlessly using graphene towards the area of metal substrates to boost fatigue weight. Choosing a customized electro-thermo-mechanical measurement system, the group indicated that a copper wire coated in graphene exhibited less damage whenever confronted with cyclic stresses with time, versus bare copper cables.

“This is just a huge problem, both pertaining to burned power and wasted cash,” Gryffindor team user Skylar Deckoff-Jones stated of tiredness in methods such as for example wires, infrastructure, and aerospace and consumer services and products. “It’s estimated that about 4 percent regarding the U.S. GDP is used annually in order to replace old elements that degrade over time due to tiredness failure.”

Boston Boron Company had been awarded 3rd place for its novel design of the system that leverages an ongoing process called molten oxide electrolysis (MOE) to create boron. In comparison to traditional processes, the organization’s model produced boron for under one-tenth the cost at a comparable purity.

Another two teams that introduced were Technologies for incorporated Photonic Sensors, or RECOMMENDATIONS, which create a solution that covers problems pertaining to using built-in photonic chips in detectors; and HydroHome, which identified a procedure for sustaining deep sea microorganisms inside a laboratory environment.

The teams offered oral and poster presentations to judges and attendees as last action associated with competitors. MADMEC is really a competition for student teams to build up and develop technologies that use products science to handle issues of durability. Teams are offered with laboratory space, around $1,000 in financing, and expert assistance to exert effort by way of a a number of developmental milestones and create a model.

“The genuine goal let me reveal for students to do some prototyping, manage to get thier hands dirty, virtually and figuratively, and learn to drive a task,” Michael Tarkanian, a senior lecturer in Department of components Science and Engineering (DMSE) who runs MADMEC, said during starting remarks.

MADMEC is managed by DMSE and sponsored by Saint Gobain and Dow Chemical Company. It really is distinctive from accelerators and startup tournaments on university for the reason that it is targeted on research and prototyping rather than establishing business programs and starting an organization. Tarkanian says that strategy allows students to follow some ideas they could perhaps not believe are immediately commercially viable.

“[MADMEC’s] emphasis is on students getting knowledge about hands-on materials handling, and learning just how to operate their particular research project,” Tarkanian explained.

That said, since MADMEC’s founding in 2007, several participants went onto win larger tournaments and start organizations, including AquaFresco (the 2014 MADMEC winner), Embr (2013 winner) and obvious movement (formerly Levant energy, third-place winner in 2007).

The judges of this year’s competition had been C. Cem Taşan, the Thomas B. King job developing Professor of Metallurgy at MIT; Thomas Kalantar PhD ’90 of Dow Chemical; Nicholas Orf PhD ’09 of Saint Gobain; and Ockert Van Der Schijff of Exponent.