Seattle University Students Create Ghostbusters’ “Real-Life Proton Pack”

2012-05-29

A group of Seattle University engineer students are making the childhood dreams of Sci-Fi fans come true. Think Star Trek, Star Wars and Ghostbusters… For their year-long senior design project, students designed and built a hand-held laser gun (photo below), using the same technology as on the Mars Rover, called Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy*. The laser gun can be used to aid in keeping people and the environment safe. It has the capability to detect lead in paint and toys, sort recycling materials and map spills of toxic materials.  

The team was sponsored by TSI, Incorporated (formerly Photon Machines), whose LIBS division is based in Redmond.  The sponsoring company donated both money and engineering support towards the project.  Plans are in the works to commercialize the system.  The engineers at TSI were very impressed with how quickly the students got up to speed on the technology and that they were successful in creating a fully functioning prototype.  

WHEN: Laser Project Presentation, 2-3 p.m.  
            (Media availability to those interested in one-on-ones with students/professor, 3-3:45) 
            Entire Project Day Program, 1-5:30 p.m.  

WHERE: Sullivan Hall (Law School), Room C6  

Seattle University Project Center is celebrating 25 years of partnership with businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations regionally and nationally. Student teams from the College of Science and Engineering or Albers School of Business and Economics work on projects in the fields of computer science and software engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, as well as marketing,

management, financial analysis, economics, international business, sustainable business and new business ventures. Students graduate with real-world experience in their fields along with invaluable teamwork and communication skills that place them ahead of their peers. Companies benefit from fresh student perspectives, community outreach, academic partnerships and targeted recruitment.  

For more information including schedule of all projects, visit: http://www.seattleu.edu/projectcenter/ 

(*Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy uses a focused laser beam to create a spark on the surface of a sample. As the plasma cools, it emits light, a chemical finger print, that is used to determine the elements in the sample.)