Hayk Tamazyan (BS ES ‘21) Co-Creates a Sanitizing Device
Contributed by Hayk Tamazyan (BS ES ‘21)
From a very young age, I dreamed of creating things to contribute to the world, and especially to Armenia. My choice of studying engineering was, I believe, the perfect path to reach that goal.
I had started drawing my first engineering sketches in middle school. Gradually, as I developed my technical skills, the sketches began to turn into projects, and my projects got bigger at university. Situations often activate creativity even more. The current pandemic crisis was, I thought, the opportune time to utilize my knowledge and experience to start a project that could positively impact the wellbeing of the world’s and Armenia’s population.
Initially, the concept of creating a sanitizing device came about in a discussion with Vardan Hayrapetyan, my chemistry lab lecturer at AUA. He provided us with the direction we needed to finalize the concept and efficiently utilize our resources. I quickly moved on to realizing the concept with Vachik Khachatryan (a nuclear physics researcher at Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory), and with technical assistance from Gevorg Hovhannisyan, an electrical engineer.
The device consists of a 2m×60cm×50cm box, the inside of which is lined with ultraviolet (UV) lamps. UV rays sterilize the surfaces they reach through ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. Masks, medical attire, or any other materials that need to be sanitized regularly are placed inside the machine. Also, considering that exposure to UV rays is harmful to human health, we have incorporated a mechanism within the device that switches off the UV rays when the box door opens. Furthermore, it is inexpensive to produce this sanitizing device, it is quieter, and also more efficient than currently existing alternatives.
Typically, the process of creating such a device would require much more time than we gave ourselves. Given the urgency of the situation, we wanted to deliver the product as quickly as possible. From start to finish, the entire development took us an arduous, nonstop 48 hours. The Ministry of Health met with us and recognized the potential of using our device. They are now discussing the manufacture of a portable version.
As citizens of the world, and especially of Armenia, we felt obligated to help people during these difficult times. I strongly encourage all those who have their own ideas to start working on them and to bring them to fruition.