Skip to main content

Gannon environmental, electrical engineers present DAMPR at NWPA Beehive Innovation Showcase

Published: 04/26/2022

NWPA Innovation Beehive at Gannon University, CBI

NWPA Innovation Beehive at Gannon University, CBI

Gannon environmental engineering students Coleton Rashilla, Jade Clinton, Erek Iwanenko and electrical engineering student Kyle Goodman were selected to present their Device for Active Microplastics Removal, or DAMPR, during the NWPA Beehive Innovation Network’s 8th Annual Collegiate Innovation Beehive Showcase

DAMPR is designed to be a self-cleaning, low maintenance device that can effectively separate and collect Microplastics (280 microns - 3 mm) from a lake surface up to 2 feet below the surface with minimal or no impact on plankton and other aquatic life. 

Watch a live stream of the event here. 

The project is advised by environmental science and engineering professor Varun Kasaraneni, Ph.D. 

In their submitted abstract, the Device for Active Microplastics Removal (DAMPR) team explains: 

“Plastic pollution is a global issue, affecting marine and freshwater environments. Microplastics (MPs) are fragments of plastic that are less than 5 mm. MPs when ingested can have adverse health effects on aquatic life. MPs bioaccumulate through food chains and result in contaminated food supplies. MPs, have become a common pollutant in the Great Lakes.  The existing devices and technologies used to remove litter from surface water bodies are not capable of removing microplastics. Device for Active MicroPlastic Removal (DAMPR), is a system that will operate under solar power to separate and remove MPs from water by capitalizing on plastic’s relatively low density. The system will be capable of removing MPs down to 300 microns. During the current phase of the project a lab model is built and being tested for removal efficiency of PVC, PET, PLA, and PP plastics. DAMPR has potential to alleviate the plastic pollution problem in the Great Lakes and other surface water bodies.”

This competition aims to raise awareness of the great talents within our regional academic programs through the Beehive collaborative network. Students from Edinboro University, Penn State Behrend, Gannon University, and Mercyhurst University gather to present creative student solutions for the area to appreciate and celebrate. 

Each pitch covers a product, service, application, or improvement that demonstrates a new solution, innovation, originality, and feasibility, and winners are selected on originality, the relative benefit of the idea, presentation quality, and more. 

Learn more about environmental engineering, and electrical engineering at Gannon and apply today! 

All media inquiries can be made by contacting Haley Figurski, Media Relations and Marketing Manager, at 814-823-1886.