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Project Type

URC Presentation

College or School


Class Year



Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Research Advisor

Todd Gross

Second Faculty Research Advisor

Ivaylo Nedyalkov


The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns that have occurred over the past year have demonstrated that modern society cannot reliably prevent the transfer of harmful airborne particles. Viruses, bacteria, allergens, and airborne pollutants are all a threat to the health of people all over the world. The simplest and most direct way to meet this need is to clean or evacuate contaminated air. There are many ways to do this; including interception, direct removal, and dilution. This team has conducted a variety of numerical and empirical studies of these three techniques in distinct environments using physical barriers, supplemental exhaust systems, and ambient mixing systems. Having tested a classroom, student lab, and a lecture hall, the efficacy of each method was evaluated. The most effective system was found to be a snorkel system positioned close to the source, though ambient mixing was also impactful. Both physical barrier setups yielded mixed results, as it was often difficult to assess the optimal orientation without multiple tests of a space. Overall, the results of these experiments demonstrate that there are practical solutions to this problem that are both effective and potentially easily implemented.