Technology that uses light to clean water filtration systems in real time won the 2018 MADMEC competition on Oct. 9.
The team that developed the system, Fiat Flux, received the $10,000 grand prize after five student teams presented their final results from the five-month materials science competition. Each team, made up entirely of current MIT students, spent the summer participating in mini-contests and feasibility studies that encouraged hands-on experimentation.
The Gryffindor team took home the second-place prize of $6,000 after its three members, all of whom are materials science graduate students, developed an inexpensive system for efficiently applying graphene to the surface of metal substrates to improve fatigue resistance. Using a custom electro-thermo-mechanical measurement system, the team showed that a copper wire coated in graphene exhibited less damage when exposed to cyclic stresses over time, compared to bare copper wires.
Boston Boron Company was awarded third place for its novel design of a system that leverages a process called molten oxide electrolysis (MOE) to produce boron. When compared to traditional processes, the company’s prototype produced boron for less than one-tenth the cost at a similar purity.