SAN RAFAEL, Calif., January 11, 2009 — PAX Water Technologies, working with sister company PAX Mixer, sponsored a unique collaborative design project with Petaluma High School’s Industrial Technology Program. In 2008, PAX Water invited students from the school’s Technology Pilot Program group to assist in a biomimicry project. Seven students (Sean Gushulak, Madeline Heggli, Tara Funk, Taylor Bihn, Rachael Gifford, Madeline Simmons, and Andrew Stevenson) accepted the challenge: propose designs that would extend the elegance and bio-functionality of the PAX Lily impeller into the rest of the mixer system.
Product Engineer Brian Mifsud served as PAX liaison to the group, and three PHS teachers acted as advisors: Dan Sunia, head of the school’s well-respected Industrial Technology Department, Jae Tillinghast from the Art Department, and science teacher Victor Brazil. Students employed a multidisciplinary approach to re-imagine the entire mixer assembly—tripod, feet, and motor mount—using biomimicry. For example, technology students developed images in CAD, then partnered with art students to translate these designs into 3-D representations. In December 2008, the team presented their findings to PAX Water, PAX Mixer, and PAX companies founder Jay Harman. Addressing a number of design issues (including system stability, foot flexibility, and tripod compactness), the team offered insightful options drawn from their studies of biological organisms as diverse as squid, frogs, flamingos, and leaf structure.
“I was very enthusiastic about this project while remaining aware that these were high school students, and this was their first encounter with the challenges of bio-inspired design,” said PAX Water CTO Peter Fiske. He continued, “The results were very impressive and exceeded my expectations. I can definitely say that we will be following up on some of these ideas.”
For more information about Petaluma High School’s Industrial Technology program, visit their department’s web page, http://188.8.131.52/Industrial_Tech.html. The student presentation will be included in an interview with PAX founder Jay Harman on Jay Hamilton-Roth’s Comcast Cable Channel 26 television show, Business with Passion, slated for airing sometime in February 2009. For more information on this program, visit www.manygoodideas.com/comcast/.
PAX Water Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of PAX Scientific, Inc., is licensed to develop, market, and distribute equipment incorporating PAX technology for the global water market. PAX Mixer is PAX Scientific’s industrial mixer subsidiary, researching and developing novel industrial mixing technologies for a variety of industries including biofuels, wastewater treatment, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
An engineering research and design firm that employs a fundamental scientific discovery, PAX Scientific translates natural flow efficiencies into unique, patented methodologies that improve fluid movement, manage turbulence, and reduce friction, drag, energy use, wear, noise, and heat for a wide range of applications. PAX licenses its patented designs to manufacturers.