Teen Engineer Invents System to Improve Air Quality on Airplanes

Raymond Wang of Canada Wins $75,000 Top Prize at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

The world’s largest high school science research competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, announced its top winners inPittsburgh.

Raymond Wang of Canada received the Gordon E. Moore Award, a US$75,000 prize named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.

Two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards winners – Nicole Ticea of Canada and Karan Jerath of Friendswood, Texas – each received prizes of US$50,000 from the Intel Foundation.

PITTSBURGH, May 15, 2015 – Raymond Wang, 17, of Canada was awarded first place for engineering a new air inlet system for airplane cabins to improve air quality and curb disease transmission at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public.

Wang’s system improves the availability of fresh air in the cabin by more than 190 percent while reducing pathogen inhalation concentrations by up to 55 times compared to conventional designs, and can be easily and economically incorporated in existing airplanes. Wang received the Gordon E. Moore Award of US$75,000, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.

Nicole Ticea, 16, of Canada received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of US$50,000 for developing an inexpensive, easy-to-use testing device to combat the high rate of undiagnosed HIV infection in low-income communities. Her disposable, electricity-free device provides results in an hour and should cost less than US$5 to produce. Ticea has already founded her own company, which recently received a US$100,000 grant to continue developing her technology.

Karan Jerath, 18, of Friendswood, Texas, received the other Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of US$50,000 for refining and testing a novel device that should allow an undersea oil well to rapidly and safely recover following a blowout. Jerath developed a better containment enclosure that separates the natural gas, oil and ocean water; accommodates different water depths, pipe sizes and fluid compositions; and can prevent the formation of potentially clogging methane hydrate.

 “Intel believes young people are key to future innovation and that in order to confront the global challenges of tomorrow, we need students from all backgrounds to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. “We hope these winners will inspire other young people to pursue their interest in these fields and apply their curiosity, creativity and ingenuity to the common good.”

This year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured approximately 1,700 young scientists selected from 422 affiliate fairs in more than 75 countries, regions and territories. In addition to the top winners, approximately 600 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research, including 20 “Best of Category” winners, who each received a US$5,000 prize. The Intel Foundation also awarded a US$1,000 grant to each winner’s school and to the affiliated fair they represent.

The following lists the 20 Best of Category winners, from which the top three were chosen:

Category First Last City State/Country

Animal Science

Nattapong Chueasiritaworn Muang Thailand

Thananon Hiranwanichchakorn Sutthiluk Rakdee

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Sophia Korner Louisville Kentucky

Diya Mathur


Amol Punjabi

Worchester Massachusetts

Biomedical and Health Sciences

Nicole Ticea Vancouver Canada

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Demetri Maxim Bethel Maine


Arne Hensel Homburg (Efze) Germany

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Michael Retchin Richmond Virginia

Matthew Retchin

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Joshua Zhou Chapel Hill North Carolina

Embedded Systems

Niklas Fauth Marbach am Neckar Germany

Energy: Chemical

Kathy Liu Salt Lake City Utah

Energy: Physical

Sriharshita Musunuri Mill Creek Washington

Engineering Mechanics

Raymond Wang Vancouver Canada

Environmental Engineering

Karan Jerath Friendswood Texas

Materials Science

Catherine Li Orlando Florida


Sanath Kumar Devalapurkar Torrance California


Carly Crump Jacksonville Florida

Physics and Astronomy

Ruochen Hao Jinan China

Plant Sciences

Abdul Jabbar Alhamood Dhahran Saudi Arabia

Robotics and Intelligent Machines

Ava Lakmazaheri Alexandria Virginia

Systems Software

Charles Noyes Villa Park California

Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to public engagement in science and science education, has owned and administered the competition since its inception in 1950 as the National Science Fair.

“Congratulations to Raymond, Nicole and Karan! Their selection as top winners really demonstrates the extraordinary work they have been able to accomplish at a young age in diverse topics,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of Society for Science & the Public. “We look forward to watching not only them, but the rest of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalists as they progress further and pursue their interests in STEM. These talented young students are the problem solvers and innovators of their generation.”

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair honors the world’s most promising student scientists, inventors and engineers. Finalists are selected annually from hundreds of affiliated fairs. Their projects are then evaluated onsite by approximately 1,000 judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of six years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines.

A full listing of finalists is available in the event program. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2015 is funded jointly by Intel and the Intel Foundation with additional awards and support from dozens of other corporate, academic, governmental and science-focused organizations. This year, approximately US$4 million was awarded.

To learn more about Society for Science & the Public, visit www.societyforscience.org, and follow the organization on Facebookand Twitter.

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Sarah Wood
Society for Science & the Public