EPICS students are making a difference from across the globe

EPICS Project Koyash

Project Koyash is one of the many EPICS@ASU student teams working together to design, build and deploy systems to solve engineering-based problems to aid in community development.

This year the team won first place in the EPICS Elite Pitch Competition. The team received $6,000 in funding to help them continue to build and provide air filters for nomadic communities in Mongolia. The team works in conjunction with their community partner, the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families

Overpopulation leads to air pollution

This project was started by Ira A. Fulton graduate, Shamsher (Shami) Warudkar. He saw the need for these air filters in Mongolia after reading an article in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization

He found that due to climate change in the country, major food sources had been wiped out for nomadic communities in Mongolia. Thus, forcing them to relocate to the overpopulated city of Ulaanbaatar. Because Ulaanbaatar is very populated, there is a high amount of air pollution in the city, making the air unhealthy to breathe. The pollution levels are dangerously high because in order to heat their homes the nomadic people are burning raw coal inside.

‘Clean air is something we take for granted’

“We hope our project will be able to better the lives of the nomadic people living in Ulaanbaatar. Breathing clean air is something we can take for granted, and our project aims at giving these nomadic people the same luxury,” says Jalen Goode, a member of Project Koyash. “Being a part of the EPICS program and working on the Project Koyash team has helped me expand my view of problems happening around the globe and how I can help using engineering.” 

The team’s goal is to filter air within the homes of these nomadic communities so that it is safe for them. They have sent one prototype to their community partner and received data. The team is now testing their second prototype, which is completely autonomous, and hope to use their new funding to create 12 filters to send to Ulaanbaatar. 

This team was also given the 2022 Impact Award at the EPICS Generator Awards ceremony. The Impact Award is given to the group that possesses the potential for significant impact on a local or global community and has shown a meaningful understanding of the population they are serving. The future of Project Koyash is bright and ongoing. The team hopes to expand their reach beyond the 12 initial homes and help the entire nomadic population around Ulaanbaatar. 

Article submitted by Lauren Kobley, news writer for Fulton Schools Academic and Student Affairs.