Students Develop Chattahoochee Monitoring Device

  • University students were challenged to develop innovative devices that can be used to remotely monitor the Chattahoochee River
  • Designs submitted by Michael Sotiriou from Suffolk County Community College and John Marshall from Virginia Tech selected as the winners
  • The devices will enable Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a non-profit organization, to efficiently monitor drinking water that more than four million people depend on

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper have announced the winners of the water quality monitoring challenge in which university students are challenged to develop innovative devices that can be used to remotely monitor the Chattahoochee River. This river on the borders of the US states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida provides drinking water for more than four million people in northern Georgia.

Designs submitted by Michael Sotiriou from Suffolk County Community College and John Marshall from Virginia Tech were selected as the winners. Ericsson will prototype each design for use by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

Eligible devices were required to cost no more than $200, be waterproof, RoHS compliant, environmentally safe and consume relatively little power. Additionally, the winning devices were selected for their durability and the ease with which they are deployed and anchored. In addition to the Ericsson team, the jury for the challenge also included members from the United States Geological Survey, the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, Sigma Connectivity, and staff from the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

Orvar Hurtig, Head of Industry & Society at Ericsson, says: “At Ericsson we believe wholeheartedly that ICT can be used to solve everyday problems. We’re excited that we were able to inspire students to innovate and propose devices that will make it easier for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper – and hopefully other similar organizations – to monitor the quality of drinking water that so many people depend on.”

Jason Ulseth, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, says: “Strong data is the bedrock of our work at Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. However, securing consistent and reliable data is a perpetual challenge. These winning designs are a fantastic way to begin the innovative process of creating an affordable device with the potential to revolutionize the work of Waterkeepers across the globe.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

About the winners

Michael Sotiriou, from Long Island, New York, is an engineering science honors student at Suffolk County Community College in Brookhaven, New York, with long-term ambitions in naval architecture and marine engineering. Mike has spent time working as the engineer on a schooner, the SSV Tabor Boy, as well as working on designs for high-speed watercraft. In the past few years, he has taken a keen interest in multiple Arduino-based projects – including some demonstrating the dynamics of rotational to linear motion. Currently, Mike is working on an algae bioreactor with the potential to provide renewable fuel.

John Marshall, from Wyoming, Rhode Island, is a senior at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (popularly known as Virginia Tech) located in Blacksburg, Virginia. He is in the computer engineering program and, in addition to technical interests that include micro-controllers and space technologies, John is a licensed pilot who enjoys flying locally with friends and family in his leisure time. Currently, John is part of a Virginia Tech team that is developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for search and rescue operations.

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