A nebulizer is a device that delivers aerosolized liquid medicine deep into the lungs. Commercial nebulizers use electric compressors to maintain a constant rate of airflow, and while this is effective, it presents a problem in the developing world where electricity is often unavailable and unreliable. At the same time, chronic respiratory diseases and acute lower respiratory infections are the third major cause of morbidity and mortality in the developing world.
This team is developing a human-powered nebulizer (HPN) that replaces the electric compressor with a leg-powered source of airflow. The HPN is a two-piston system, with each piston connected to a pedal. Stepping on the pedal generates airflow from the pistons. The idea has been tested and confirmed as a workable, low cost alternative to traditional compressor-based nebulizers. The team will develop a scalable prototype, test it under field conditions, and develop a business model for broad implementation.
The Marquette University College of Engineering is developing Strategic Technology Planning and Development, a new course in the field of engineering entrepreneurship. The course focuses on developing technology that will be appropriate and available for product transfer at the moment it is needed. The course organizes students into E-Teams with the goal of producing a strategic development plan for a new technology-based business opportunity. The opportunity may be original to the team, or may derive from current college R&D programs. To stimulate commercialization of resulting opportunities, E-Teams are entered into the annual Golden Angels Network business plan contest.
Each four to six person E-Team consists of students, faculty members, and industry experts. Students learn through lectures, discussions, projects, and presentations. Once established, the course will fill a core role in the university's Engineering Management Program.
This E-Team developed GASDAY, a rolling eight-day natural gas load forecasting service for large and midsized local distribution companies (LDCs). The team's objective was to scale the GASDAY service to provide affordable accessibility to small municipal gas utilities. Smaller-sized LDCs would enjoy the benefits of this industry-leading load forecasting package built specifically for their customer base. The service increases a forecaster's understanding of and confidence in the gas load forecast.
The E-Team included two graduate students specializing in computing and marketing and two undergraduate students majoring in computer engineering and electrical engineering. Two professors of engineering and one industry expert supported the students. Visit the project's website here.