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Engineering Students Complete Assessment of Wheeling Hospital UVC Devices

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 1:40 PM
WU News


Wheeling University engineering students recently completed an assessment on 20 of Wheeling Hospital’s new UVC Devices. UVC Technology refers to a type of ultraviolet light, also known as Germicidal UV. It has the power to kill or incapacitate bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses by destroying the DNA of dangerous pathogens. A new study led by researchers from Duke University has found that adding short-wavelength ultraviolet-C light (UVC) to standard room cleaning strategies modestly decreases hospital-wide incidence of common healthcare-associated infections.

The students, who include Brianna Grimes, Jacob Buck, Elijah Byrd, Phillip Derick, Bryce Porter and Christian Rivera, evaluated and considered several standards when examining the devices then provided recommendations to Wheeling Hospital regarding safety information and the installation of GFCI interrupt mechanisms on each UVC device. The Wheeling University Engineering Department received roughly $2,500 for their services, which will be used to purchase more LED light fixtures for the University’s multipurpose recreation facility, the Alma Grace McDonough Center.

“It opened my mind to the understanding that your ideas with the proper hard work can be funded even if you don’t have the proper capital,” said engineering student Elijah Byrd.

The students recently attended a SBIR-STTR Bootcamp on January 28 at Northern West Virginia Community College. This event was hosted by TechConnect West Virginia as part of its “Bridging the Ecosystem in Science & Technology in West Virginia” (BEST in WV). Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are a source of non-dilutive, early-stage funding for small businesses and researchers. The students learned how to develop a concept, identify opportunities, prepare to write an SBIR-STTR grant and how to navigate the registration process.

Referring to her experience at the Bootcamp, Grimes shared, “I was intrigued with the concept of small businesses having opportunities like what the SBIR-STTR provides. Even in smaller cities such as Wheeling, it amazes me that we have local businesses who have acquired these grants. Each business owner was passionate about their product(s) and how they impact people across the country. I am continually thankful for Professor Yahn for allowing our Engineering class to attend such events. It is eye-opening to see how the concepts we learn in the classroom apply in the real world.”

Photo-  Bryce Porter, Philip Derick and Christian Rivera in the basement of Wheeling Hospital after doing functional checks on the new (20 total) UVC devices.