Sensing in a flash

Jan 19, 2012 By Laura L. Hunt
L-R: Peter Geissinger, associate professor of chemistry, researcher Paul Henning and Tom Dougherty, president of ACS.

Combine the fiberoptic, water-monitoring technology developed by chemist Peter Geissinger with a local business that helps industries treat their wastewater, and you have a sought-after solution that delivers at the speed of light.

This patented work is the latest UWM research to be licensed by a company through the UWM Research Foundation.

Milwaukee-based Advanced Systems Inc. (ACS) sells wastewater pretreatment systems and chemicals to industrial users, and also provides contaminant removal services. The company’s challenge is to obtain real-time, reliable information about the level of particular contaminants in wastewater.

Currently, accurate water analysis has to be completed in an off-site lab. The testing can take weeks. Geissinger developed a water-quality monitoring system that immediately detects targeted contaminants using sensor information transported through light.

“If this system can be developed economically, everyone’s going to want this for their pretreatment systems,” says ACS President Tom Dougherty. “It could be a game-changer.”

The partners are determined to find out. Dougherty applied for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant with three different federal agencies.

All three SBIR proposals were well received, with the winning award backed by the National Science Foundation. “The SBIR grant is a very strong external validation of the work,” Dougherty says.

“Partnering with an established company has been very beneficial because it provided clear focus on specific sensing applications needed by potential customers,” says Geissinger.

He and his postdoctoral researcher, Paul Henning, have brought the system this far with funding from the UWM Research Foundation’s Bradley Catalyst Grant program.

Going forward, the team hopes to make the equipment more cost-effective and portable so it can be used in the field. Dougherty estimates it will be ready for business use in two to three years.

Explore further: Breakthrough capability keeps subs, ships on safe track

Provided by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New ponds take the waste out of wastewater

Aug 01, 2011

Research by Flinders University’s School of the Environment has shown that a shallow, high-rate pond system to treat wastewater will slash the loss to evaporation as well as boosting the rates of removal of bacterial ...

Free app protects Facebook accounts from hackers

Jun 21, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two University of California, Riverside graduate students and a company run by an alumnus of the school have partnered to develop a free Facebook application that detects spam and malware ...

Recommended for you

Stanford aims to bring player pianos back to life

4 hours ago

(AP)—Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano, which brought recorded music into living rooms long before there were cassettes, compact discs or iPods.

Breakthrough capability keeps subs, ships on safe track

Dec 16, 2014

Interactive software that can dramatically cut the time it takes to plan safe submarine missions is crossing over to the surface fleet and is being installed this month on the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.