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Sensor for Microplastic Research Designed by Student

Source: [email protected]/Joe O'Connell - June 9, 2015 in Junior Editors

Sensor for Microplastic Research Designed by Student
Photo: Chesapeake Bay Program/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

More than 250 metric tons of microplastic are esti­mated to be floating in the world’s oceans. And the cost to take a research vessel out to study those par­ti­cles and their dis­per­sion pat­terns can be astronomical.

To solve the high-​​cost issue, without sac­ri­ficing on data col­lec­tion, a North­eastern stu­dent cre­ated a sensor to gather and cat­e­go­rize microplastics.

Ethan Edson, S’15, pre­sented his “Man­taray” pro­to­type sensor at RISE:2015 this past April and earned the under­grad­uate award in the Engi­neering and Tech­nology cat­e­gory. He grad­u­ated in May with his bachelor’s degree in envi­ron­mental science.

As a first deploy­ment this summer, Edson said he hopes to use the sensor to col­lect microplas­tics in Boston Harbor.

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