News stories

Greenville Academy: Scholars Work to #GetTheSaltOut at Clemson University

April 30, 2022

Clemson, S.C. – Last Academy session, the 54 scholars from the first cohort of Next Engineers at Clemson University received their next design challenge, all about the fascinating desalination process.

David Ladner, Ph.D., from Clemson University’s Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, gave a presentation on the significance, history, and technologies of desalination, which is the process of converting saltwater to freshwater. The students then were informed that the real challenge will be the next design project; where they will have to convert 1 quart of water to at least 50% fresh, drinkable water: a task that they are soon to learn is easier in concept than in design.

To learn more about this topic, scholars used conductivity meters to measure the salinity - the amount of salt - in various concentrations of water. By measuring this conductivity, they were then able to generate a calibration curve to get an accurate means of measuring salinity. Supported by GE Volunteers, an Engineering Professor, and PEER/WISE Facilitators, the students went through a design briefing process to get sets of sketches, a material list, and a budget for their design. In future meetings, they will engineer their prototypes and begin the evaluation and redesign process in depth.

Everyone is looking forward to hearing the scholars’ presentations on their final builds and the demanding process of engineering design!