Lansdale, Pennsylvania—June 1, 2016The Engineering Design and Development students of the Engineering Academy at North Penn High School hosted a nanotechnology and engineering research presentation on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at North Penn High School in Lansdale PA.

Engineering Design and Development, or EDD, is the capstone course of a national Pre-engineering program called Project Lead the Way.  In this course, students work together to
research, design, and construct solutions to engineering problems

North Penn’s EDD course has a unique nanotechnology research program, developed by its instructor, known as The Future is N.E.A.R. (Nanotechnology Education And Research).  The EDD course and NEAR program offer its students the opportunity to gain essential 21st century skills that will prepare them to become successful leaders in a technological global society.  


The program introduces the fundamentals of nanotechnology, engineering research principles, and a rigorous application of their skills and knowledge to high school students while cultivating their interest in engineering, problem solving and life-long learning.  Students seek opportunities to design and test solutions to global issues by capitalizing from the fundamentals of nanotechnology and engineering utilizing the latest published research available.

This year, 18 students in seven research teams and three students from the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) club presented their research.  Please see the video recorded by North Penn Television and images from their final presentation below:


2016 Invitation 2016 Program

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Image 1: The Future is NEAR (Nanotechnology Education and Research) students after their presentation.

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Image 2: The Future is NEAR (Nanotechnology Education and Research) students after their presentation.
Jonathan Hollenbach  |  Nicholas Seiberlich  |  Mark Wallace

Deltaphase Enterprises:
Phase Change Core-Sheath Nanofibers

Does it bother you when your coffee gets cold, or even when your iced coffee gets too warm? If you could control the temperature of everything around you, wouldn’t you be happier? This idea of thermal management has an almost limitless list of potential applications. For instance, engines need to be cooler in order to operate at maximum performance, however; the temperature increases over time and engines become less efficient. The same can be said about computers, servers, electrical connections and so on. However the current solutions for thermal management are expensive; heating and cooling accounts for 48% of the energy costs for a US household. There needs to be a better way to manage heat at a low cost.

Keith Earle  |  Tyler Gillett

KT Technologies, Inc.:
Concussion Detection and Prevention

It is estimated that 1.6-3.8 million sports related concussions occur in the United States each year, and that number continues to grow rapidly as time progresses.  A concussion is a temporary unconsciousness caused by a blow to the head or the term is used to describe the after effects of a concussive force.  As of today many different companies have tried to come up with more innovative and technological ways to detect and/or prevent a person from attaining a concussion. The number one sport that has the highest concussion rate is football. By testing current materials that are used in players’ helmets, a material can be developed that absorbs more impact force than the current materials and in return reduces the risk of head injuries.

Tommy Novia  |  Mash Pramanik

MT Bioscience:
Water Quality: Purification and Filtration

1 in 10 people around the world lack the access to safe drinking water. That is over 783 million people and more than double the population of the U.S. Water is one the most essential needs of our body. A person can only live without water for eight to ten days and these 783 million people having been living like that for their entire life. Approximately 1400 children under the age of five die due to unsafe drinking water every day. The lack of water has caused a widespread dehydration in developing countries. A current solution is to create a cheap and effective water filter that anyone can afford.

Tom Gerhart  |  Brian Lawn

Nanomedical Solutions:
Cellular Regeneration, Scaffolding and Antibacterial Core-Sheath Nanofibers

Our knowledge on oral medications and xenobiotic metabolism, the drug degradation process in the liver, has expanded in the past 5 decades, however the rate at which drugs are introduced to the blood stream is not proportional to treat the pain that we experience when suffering from external wounds. Many fabrics have been created to aid in cell regeneration, but none have had the combination of antibacterial characteristics, drug encapsulation, and cell regeneration scaffold’s to help heal wounds quicker, thus lessening the chance of infection. Although wound treatment and our knowledge of infection prevention is at its height, we believe that these treatments could still be improved. Typical wound treatments today involve wrapping the wound with gauze, which not only traps bacteria but also does nothing to improve the pain that the patient is experiencing. By applying a bandage that has a cellular scaffold, core-sheath Nanofibers containing Naproxen, and anti-bacterial nanofibers, we can aid in the cellular regeneration process, reduce pain symptoms, and reduce the chance of infection thus reducing the healing time and reducing the chance of complications.

Dominic DiBerardino  |  Thomas Dickson  |  TJ O'Hagan

Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting and Storage

Imagine being able to charge your phone simply by walking. Currently more that 50 percent of power in The United States is produced from fossil fuels. If more time and effort is put toward piezoelectric materials and energy harvesting, it could reduce the amount of fossil fuels consumed every year and eliminate pollutants produced from other methods.

Shovon Akter  |  Grant Pietrzykoski  |  Jeremy Pulver

PPA SoundScience:
nSABs (Nanoscale Sound Attenuation Batts) Sound Attenuation and Noise Cancellation

While sound is an extremely important asset to human communication, its negative effects can be disturbing, and damaging in some cases. Sound pollution is a global scale problem, and can be damaging to an environment. In addition, different sound frequencies can have a varied effect on the eardrums, which can do permanent damage to one’s hearing.

Bailey Harp  |  Nate McWilliams  |  Abdullah Nahean

Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting and Storage

By-product heat from many energy production processes has many viable and practical uses, such as the production of electricity.  However, current thermal capturing and repurposing methods are not widely used. Current state of the art is inadequate, expensive, and inefficient.

Anthony Brigidi  |  Engy Khoshit  |  TJ Schmidt

Engineering Projects In Community Service (EPICS):
Hydrophobic Nanofibers

A group of students in the Engineering Projects In Community Service (EPICS) Club presented research regarding the development of superhydrophobic nanofiber based coatings to protect electronics during land, air, sea and space travel.  This opportunity stems from a collaboration with Montgomery County Community College through Temple University and a Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium research grant they have been awarded.  This year, the EPICS NASA research students have run and characterized several experiments utilizing various polymers and have gained promising results!  The greatest contact angle measured was over 1340 - that's almost super hydrophobic!