Impressing the judges with a brilliant project that addresses the most pressing problem the country is facing, students of Bhavan’s Varuna Vidyalaya, Thrikkakara, have bagged the Dr Pradeep P. Thevannoor Innovation Awards this year. Jerry Zachariah Jose and Vasant Joseph of the school came up with the Bio-Nano Material Water Purifier, a novel water purification system designed using bio-sourced materials. Rakhi Elizabeth Thankchan of St Joseph’s College of Engineering and Technology, Pala, won the award in the Best Woman Innovator category.
Jerry and Vasant named their water purifier Bio Purifica. “Industrialisation, especially mining industries, and waste dumping have contaminated drinking water and limited its availability. The scene is even worse in developing countries. These toxic pollutants lead to respiratory, neural and intestinal diseases,” the students said, explaining the reason behind zeroing in on such a project. “Millions of people are exposed to naturally occurring toxic elements such as arsenic, cadmium etc. in water, which will lead to cancer and skeletal damage. Studies show that various countries have started working on filtration systems to free drinking water of dissolved ions, and remove arsenic type carcinogens from ground water. The challenge lies with the development of cost-effective water purification systems to remove metals without compromising the safety of the environment.”
“With this project, we propose the idea of a novel water purification system from bio-sourced materials for effective removal of metal from contaminated ground water. Bio Purifica is a fully functionalised heavy-metal purification system, made using bio-sourced nano materials,” they said.
Meanwhile, Rakhi won the honour by coming up with the idea of hypar shell foundation for low rise building rest. Because of its good performance in roof structures, shells are also considered as foundations for buildings. There are various types of shell geometries which can be used as shell foundations, such as hyperbolic paraboloidal, pyramidal, triangular, conical, cylindrical etc. Some of these geometries possess straight-line property which makes them easy to construct. Hypar shell is doubly curved, non-developable, anticlastic shell of translation with ruled surface, having straight line property.
Rakhi proposed a low-cost foundation technique using hypar shell for low land areas like Kuttanad. “Application of these methods can considerably reduce the cost of construction and settlement can be controlled. The labour cost will not increase, because we can precast the foundations with the required dimensions. An interlocking grove is provided for the precast foundation, so that they can be placed in an array, in the trenches,” Rakhi said. The straight line property of hypar shell makes them easy to construct, she clarified.
Dr Pradeep P. Thevannoor Innovation Awards have been instituted by SCMS School of Engineering and Technology, Ernakulam, at the national level to recognise innovative ideas and applications that will help tackle various issues faced by society. The awards were instituted in 2015....