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Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

I Want One of Those: SOLO

SOLO: Some (Cups) Only Live Once

A team of undergrads identified a problem with the way students use and dispose of plastic cups. Even when cups end up in a recycling receptacle, a single cup holding even a small amount of fluid can contaminate the entire collection—making it ineligible for recycling. The group’s answer: an automatic cup washer to prevent that contamination. “We devised a system that would wash and sanitize the cups so that we can use them again or recycle them,” says Sudharsan Balasubramani ’22. Their invention features a multistep cleaning process: a top and bottom water spray, a hydrogen peroxide mist, a chamber where the cup sits for 40 seconds to ensure bacteria is killed off, and a final water rinse. “The most rewarding aspect of this was looking for something that didn’t exactly work and then being able to fix it as a team,” he says. He and Kimberly Tan ’22, Liam Kirkpatrick ’22, James Fleming ’22, and Vlado Vojdanovski ’22 won the winter term Phillip R. Jackson Award for best overall performance in ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering. Their teaching assistant was Shannon Ropp ’19 Th’20.

—Kathryn Lapierre

Tags: award, humanitarian service, projects, students

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