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Making Water out of Thin Air

Making Water out of Thin Air

For Konstantin Avdienko, a second-year mechanical engineering and computer science major, being a changemaker is about finding innovative solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. As California enters yet another year in drought, it’s clear that one of the state’s biggest challenges to date is water. Luckily, Konstantin has the solution: creating water out of air.

After stumbling across his idea while looking at condensation on a glass window, Avdienko decided to make his idea a reality by entering the university’s annual Changemaker Challenge.

As an Ashoka U designated Changemaker campus, the University of San Diego seeks to provide an environment in which students are empowered to create positive change, and the Changemaker Challenge is a direct result of that goal. Through the challenge, students are invited to submit ideas that will socially, environmentally and ethically improve the campus.

Avdienko’s idea quickly became a crowd favorite. By using supplies purchased at Home Depot, Advienko created his first water condenser. An electric wind turbine drags the air down a pipe, and serves as a condenser that separates the dew and other liquid from the air. In a single day, Avdienko’s condenser created almost half a gallon of dew.

After winning $2,299.56 through the annual Changemaker Challenge, Avdienko made it clear that he has just getting started. He plans to refine the idea and create updated models. Luckily, it looks like Avdienko will have a plethora of support. After winning the competition, Avdienko received an offer from a local technology company to fund the completion of his creation.

But for Avdienko, the Changemaker Challenge, is much more than a single event — it’s representative of a campus wide culture of caring.

“I really enjoy how at USD, everyone supports your ideas. There are so many opportunities. I asked professors, ‘Will this work? Do my calculations seem correct?’ and all the professors were really excited. They are happy to help with my work and support me.”

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