Teen Engineer Invents System to Improve Air Quality on Airplanes
Raymond Wang, 17, of Canada was awarded first place for engineering a new air inlet system for airplane cabins to improve air quality and curb disease transmission at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public.
Wang’s system improves the availability of fresh air in the cabin by more than 190 percent while reducing pathogen inhalation concentrations by up to 55 times compared to conventional designs, and can be easily and economically incorporated in existing airplanes.
Wang received the Gordon E. Moore Award of US$75,000, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.
Nicole Ticea, 16, of Canada received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of US$50,000 for developing an inexpensive, easy-to-use testing device to combat the high rate of undiagnosed HIV infection in low-income communities.
Her disposable, electricity-free device provides results in an hour and should cost less than US$5 to produce. Ticea has already founded her own company, which recently received a US$100,000 grant to continue developing her technology.
Karan Jerath, 18, of Friendswood, Texas, received the other Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of US$50,000 for refining and testing a novel device that should allow an undersea oil well to rapidly and safely recover following a blowout.
Jerath developed a better containment enclosure that separates the natural gas, oil and ocean water; accommodates different water depths, pipe sizes and fluid compositions; and can prevent the formation of potentially clogging methane hydrate.
“Intel believes young people are key to future innovation and that in order to confront the global challenges of tomorrow, we need students from all backgrounds to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation.
“We hope these winners will inspire other young people to pursue their interest in these fields and apply their curiosity, creativity and ingenuity to the common good.”
This year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured approximately 1,700 young scientists selected from 422 affiliate fairs in more than 75 countries, regions and territories.
In addition to the top winners, approximately 600 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research, including 20 “Best of Category” winners, who each received a US$5,000 prize. The Intel Foundation also awarded a US$1,000 grant to each winner’s school and to the affiliated fair they represent.
Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to public engagement in science and science education, has owned and administered the competition since its inception in 1950 as the National Science Fair.
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2015 is funded jointly by Intel and the Intel Foundation with additional awards and support from dozens of other corporate, academic, governmental and science-focused organizations. This year, approximately US$4 million was awarded.