A Humber research team is designing and developing a novel case for mobile air monitoring systems to collect environmental measurements. The project Design Enhancements of Mobile Air Monitoring System is led by Principal Investigator Sherif Hanna, professor in the Faculty of Applied Sciences & Technology (FAST), and Co-Investigator Shaun Ghafari, Associate Dean for the Advanced Manufacturing Cluster at Humber.
The research team is collaborating with industry partner Ecosystem Informatics Inc. (ESI). The results of this project will help ESI overcome the limitations of traditional measurement techniques and offer a more accurate and reliable measurement alternative product. The research project received the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Engage grant ($25K) in 2022.
Ecosystem Informatics Inc. (ESI) is a company incorporated in 2019 in the field of environmental engineering. ESI is developing patent-pending, real-time and mobile environmental measurement tools to overcome the sample collection and location-specific measurement limitations.
The main technical challenge in developing the enclosed measurement system is the turbulence associated with the airflow into the system, as well as the presence of dust, water vapour and contaminants that are entrained with the airflow into the system. Humber research team will provide technical leadership in modelling the airflow inside the engineering system and reducing contaminant interference with measurements through design modifications and in-situ testing.
Phases of the project
- Design criteria development, kick-off meeting, project schedule finalization, project requirements list finalization
- Preliminary case design development – calculations, 3D model, modelling of air flow inside case
- Design modifications and machining of case and inlet to match model findings
- Assembly of first sensor prototype and incorporation of necessary modifications
- First testing run, result analysis, modifications design, machining of modifications
- Second testing run, result analysis, modifications design, machining of modifications
- Third testing run
- Finalization of 3D model, fabrication drawings, handover and closure
Principal Investigator Sherif Hanna is a professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology in the Faculty of Applied Sciences & Technology (FAST) at Humber. Sherif holds a PhD, M.Sc and B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering and specializes in engineering design, advanced manufacturing and environmental engineering. His graduate research focused on the development of environmental sensors. Sherif has more than ten years of industrial experience in the design and operation of environmental systems in the heavy industrial and energy sectors. Sherif teaches design and manufacturing courses at Humber and leads Capstone projects that deal with the development of environmental systems.
Co-Investigator Shaun Ghafari is the Associate Dean for the Advanced Manufacturing Cluster at Humber. Shaun holds a B.Sc., M.S. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. With a research interest in Mechatronics application areas, Shaun has successfully led over 15 projects as a principal investigator for system development and integration. As a Co-Investigator, Shaun will add valuable insight to the design and modelling of the system.
Two students in Humber’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program, Marcus Lahn and Irish Justine Rosete, are working on the project as research assistants. Students will have the necessary foundation skills in flow modelling, mechanical design and system integration to execute the project. The project will introduce students to various aspects of engineering that require achieving the engineering purpose by modelling, designing and testing within the design constraints and under the guidance of the industry partner.
Potential for Impact
Measuring the environmental parameters on a mobile platform allows for scanning the environmental performance over an area rather than collecting spot measurements and extrapolating data between them. Building on the anticipated project success, the industry partner will be in a position to patent the system and begin selling the system on a commercial basis one year after the project completion. For the private sector in general, environmental scans rather than spot measurements will lead the way to more accurate environmental policies that depend on real-time, in-situ measurements, inviting investments into the field.
An important part of Canada’s approach to a clean environment is measuring the concentration to high accuracy, both spatially and temporally. The impact of the inaccuracy in measurement manifests itself in an undetected rise in pollution in between measurement stations and less relevance of policies due to a lack of connection to reality.
The proposed research project will overcome the limitations imposed by current measurement techniques. The ambiguity with regards to the full environmental picture will be overcome. Measurements from an emission point will be tracked spatially, and it will inform the decisions of the organization on the way to handle, qualitatively and quantitatively. This saves money by providing accurate input data and as such, tailor the treatment approach with a correct diagnosis of the environmental problem. Socially, the high pollution areas will be detected; as a result, the public health will be improved by treating the pollution or avoiding building communities in those areas.
Learn more about ways to get involved in research projects taking place at Humber.
We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Nous remercions le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG) de son soutien.