Biomimicry Student Design Challenge
Project image of The Febrile Response Ballast Water Treatment System
Photo of Team Harvey Mudd 2

Team: Harvey Mudd 2

Members: Jiri Hladis, Emma Frederick, Alexander Lee, and Travis Beckman

Advised by Liz Orwin

Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California, US

The Febrile Response Ballast Water Treatment System

2014 BSDC Finalist
This project proposes a biomimetic ballast water heat-treatment design that prevents the threat of ballast-borne invasive species in marine ecosystems. Our biomimetic system was designed using a chimera approach. The system includes a baleen-inspired filter for easy self-cleaning, expandable ballast tanks to separate the treated and untreated water, shark-skin inspired non-stick piping, and a countercurrent heat exchange system inspired by the tongue of the gray whale. The team looked at organisms from their own biome, including the gray whale and jackrabbits. Contrary to some current solutions to ballast water treatment, the proposed solution supports Life’s Principles. Instead of using harmful chemicals, our solution recycles waste heat from the ship’s engine.