Next-Generation, Energy Efficient Water Treatment (NEWT)


Overview: Naval facilities in arid environments that utilize shallow groundwater aquafers for water supply are limited in their ability to treat and manage wastewater, even when utilizing primary and/or secondary treatment process, which typically leave behind elevated levels of salts attributed to prior agricultural use. A low power, low maintenance system that can remove salts from treated wastewater and provide it for further agricultural and industrial use supports the energy and water saving goals established by the Navy. The goal of this project is to develop a next-generation energy efficient water treatment device, operating at 12 V or via solar power. We have partnered with Ur-Water, which has developed special carbon electrodes that when energized are able to remove inorganic ions, salts, and organic contaminants. We are tasked in developing an embedded system that will drive and control the water treatment process, which will utilize the Ur-Water electrodes. The embedded system will include hardware and low-level software for a microcontroller. The electronics development will require designing the high-level hardware architecture, schematic capture, and printed circuit board (PCB) layout. Software development will require generating and testing code on the PCB that will energize/de-energize the electrodes, control pumps, and process feedback from various sensors.

Intern Responsibilities: The selected intern will be required to have a good understanding of the system developed by Ur-Water, then applying that knowledge to develop the hardware/software of the embedded system. In the initial design phase, the hardware and software development efforts will likely occur in parallel with the aid of hardware development kits. This will allow the intern to become familiar with the selected microcontroller by experimenting with the development kit. It may also be possible to control a prototype of the water treatment device with such a kit, which will prove the code before it is transferred to the custom hardware. The intern will be working closely with the secondary principle investigator throughout the hardware/software development effort. Knowledge of water treatment technology is also a benefit, but not a requirement.

Limited travel to manufacturing site and deployment site may be included as to not interfere with class schedules

Education Prerequisites:

-Obtained or pursuing an engineering degree in the field of electrical engineering, computer engineering or computer science
- Proficient at C or C++
- Good understanding of PIC microcontrollers or similar
- Working knowledge of software development environments
- Proficient at using basic lab equipment like oscilloscopes, multi-meters, and power supplies
- Basic understanding of analog and digital circuit design
- Basic understanding of circuit board design software is a plus

Qualifications: The intern must be highly motivated to learn and expand his/her comfort zone. Routine communication with the principle investigators and industry partners is expected, therefore having an excellent written and oral communication skills is a must.

To apply, follow the application process and mention this opportunity when you fill out the form.