Faculty and Staff Achievements

June, 2014

Patent Acquisition

Professor George Nnanna, Ph.D, P.E.


The Purdue Calumet Water Institute and Department of Mechanical Engineering, directed by Professor George Nnanna, has received a U. S. patent for the development of an oxazine-based Optical Sensor for online continuous detection of ammonia contaminants in water delivery systems. Nnanna and engineering alumnus Hasnain Jalal developed the sensor.

“Ammonia is a ubiquitous chemical with a multitude of agricultural, domestic and industrial purposes,” Nnanna said. “However, a small amount of ammonia can be lethal to aquatic organism, and prolonged exposure at low concentration is dangerous to humans. Given these risks, reliable detection is of the utmost importance in protecting humans and wildlife.”

Developed at the Water Institute, the Optical Sensor uses optical fibers that are ideal for In-situ online monitoring of water delivery systems. The sensor reduces the need for batch-sampling in contaminant detection.

Nnanna added that the sensor is effective in both stagnant and moving water, has instantaneous response times and has ammonia detection limits of 1.4 parts per million (ppm) in stagnant water and 3.9 ppm in moving water.

Professionals to Watch

Professor Chenn Zhou

Chenn Zhou

Professor Chenn Zhou, professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS), and Associate Vice Chancellor for research and graduate studies, recently was featured among regional “Professionals to Watch” for her work in advancing CIVS.

Zhou is featured in the summer issue of BusINess Magazine, published by The Times of Northwest Indiana. BusINess writer Lesly Bailey quoted Zhou as saying: “CIVS allows us to integrate advanced simulation and visualization technologies to create virtual worlds for real problems. This empowers people to communicate more effectively and to achieve better and faster solutions.”

2013 – 2014 Mechanical & Civil Engineering Publications