Alumna Makes a Career out of her Senior Project
May 07, 2010
Contact: Amy Hewes
Cal Poly Engineering
Many Cal Poly Engineering grads find that the hands-on projects they worked on as undergraduates and seniors help land them their first professional jobs.Tricia Compas's senior project, however, is her career.
With a team of students and an advisory panel of professors and business professionals, and under the guidance of faculty advisor Dr. Tryg Lundquist, the 2009 grad helped create the Polytech Waterbag, a revolutionary water treatment system for disaster relief zones. Compas dedicated over 2000 hours to the civil and environmental engineering master's thesis project.
It was time well-spent, having earned Compas the Outstanding Commitment Award from the Clinton Global Initiative University in 2008, and a seat on a plenary panel at this year's Clinton Global Initiative-University meeting held in Miami this April.
But Compas is not ready to put the waterbag to rest, especially in light of the worldwide need for clean drinking water in disaster zones, such as the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. So, she founded DayOne Response Inc., a company that will produce and continue to develop the 10-liter water bag.
"With tens of millions of people affected by floods and other water-related disasters each year, there is a huge potential for the device to save lives," Compas said. Compas envisions that the water bag will be able to assist 500,000 families in the near future.
DayOne Response is working to improve the product design so it can be deployed by relief organizations at a faster rate. Lundquist notes that the American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Navy are interested in the device, and the product will be analyzed to meet World Health, U.S. EPA standards through new technology in PUR Purifier of Water a chemical treatment packet within the water bag.
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