USD Students Create Portable Water Purification System for Disasters

Annual Conference Showcases Innovative Student Research

More than 240 million people each year fall victim to an earthquake, hurricane or other disaster that leaves them without clean drinking water. University of San Diego students will demonstrate a human-powered portable system for water purification at the university’s 24th annual Undergraduate Research Conference on Thursday, April 10. The event takes place from noon to 2:15 in the University Center.

More than 200 poster presentations, interactive exhibits and visual arts projects will showcase the vibrant research of USD undergraduates in the sciences, business and the arts.

Those include the reverse osmosis filtration system that could provide a portable, human-operated system to provide clean water, especially in developing countries.

Other innovative projects include a look at the values and aspirations of today’s youth. “Millenials, First Digitals, Generations Y, M and Peter Pan” looks at a generation marked by a troubled economy, leaving them unpredictable and longing for the extraordinary and unforeseen.

Another project examines the experience of Iraqi War veterans returning home to San Diego, compared to veterans from past generations.

“All of these activities are in keeping with our mission to promote undergraduate research and creative inquiry as a distinguishing feature of an undergraduate education at USD,” said
Sonia Zárate, director of the USD Office Undergraduate Research.

“We look forward to learning about all the exciting research that continues to take place on campus and to honoring the students and faculty that have challenged themselves to extend learning beyond the classroom,” said Andrew T. Allen, USD vice president and provost.

For more information about the projects go to

USD’s Office of Undergraduate Research is supported by a generous grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.