2018 Innovation Forum Results

First Place: Presenter Michael Hvasta, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering - FlowMeter

The global flowmeter market is projected to grow by 25% over the next four years and become a $9B per year industry by 2022.  Most of this anticipated growth is predicted to occur in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific where companies are moving away from old, wasteful technologies, such as differential pressure meters, and towards non-contact, non-invasive technologies that can be installed external to a piping system.  To address this growing demand, our team has devised a ‘Rotating Lorentz-Force Flowmeter’, that uses a novel low-friction bearing.  Due to the lack of frictional forces in the device, our flowmeter can be used to accurately measure flow rates without any calibration – even if the properties of the fluid are not known prior to measurement.  Furthermore, because of the new bearing our flowmeter is capable of measuring a wider range of flow rates than any other device of this kind. The flowmeter presented today can be produced for less than $600 per unit, so it is poised to become a disruptive technology capable of replacing more expensive equipment in the power-generation, chemical, metallurgical/casting, and pharmaceutical industries.