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Clarkson University Undergrad Presents Research in South Korea

Sometimes a small device can make the biggest impact, so Clarkson University senior Lauren Magin has focused her efforts on a hand-powered sustainable device that can be used in developing nations to quickly heat up water and kill bacteria.

Lauren Magin and Human Powered Cavitation Heater posterHer project proved to be interesting enough to earn her a free trip to Mokpo, South Korea, where she presented her human-powered cavitation heater at CORE 2014, the International Capstone Design Contest on Renewable Energy Technology.

The Rochester, N.Y., student was one three Americans amid the mostly Asian college students accepted to show their work at the January competition

Her work was a design at the time, while other projects were further developed, so she wasn't awarded a prize, but she says she met many interesting people and returned to campus with the heater as her senior design project.

“I'm really excited about it,” she says. “People have made cavitation heaters before but they were large and require electricity. This is meant to be sustainable.”

The whirlwind presentation energized Magin culturally as well as intellectually, she says.

“The contest was just for two days, and it took me 24 hours to get to South Korea, so I decided to stay for a week. I went to Seoul, exploring. The culture there is really cool and I was on my own. It was awesome,” she adds.

Magin is majoring in mechanical engineering and started this project following a suggestion from Associate Professor Kenneth D. Visser, director of Clarkson's Center for Sustainable Energy Systems.

“Last year, two Clarkson students were selected to present their research at this conference, and this year Lauren was invited," says Visser. "Her project consists of a rotating cylinder, in which the motion causes 'cavitation' or generates bubbles in the water. The goal is to heat up the water to the boiling point. You could then take the device to a remote village in order to make the water safe for drinking. She did the research last semester and will build the prototype this semester, with the help of two other mechanical engineering seniors.”

She also is in the middle of one other important project this semester.

“I'm looking for a job. I'll graduate in May,” Magin notes.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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