This summer, we addressed questions regarding the two different stages of our IceVax vision: design and implementation. For the design stage, one of our primary goals was to design our first working prototype. The research question we focused on was “How can we maximize the effectiveness of IceVax based on the specific areas we work in?” Ultimately, we were able to work with members of the Physics department to determine key components such as battery size, voltage and wattage, and wiring connections. Another goal for the design stage was to plan for long term production. After consulting professional manufacturers, we obtained a blueprint, computer-aided design (CAD), and wiring schematic that will simplify production of IceVax for future manufacturers. For the implementation stage, our goal was to identify areas where IceVax could have an impact. Based on feedback from healthcare professionals in regions such as Pakistan, Syria, and Lebanon, we repurposed IceVax from strictly vaccine storage to solar refrigeration that can be used for other health needs such as storage of insulin and baby formula. One of the highlights of the summer was being able to help a community of children in Pakistan who benefitted from the refrigeration and solar energy components of IceVax during a period of intense heat. Overall, through our summer research, we were able to answer our research questions, although our findings were different from what we originally expected. This summer played a large role in determining the direction of IceVax for the near future.
By: Sikander Sonny Khan, Essam Alsnayyan, & Huzaifa Piperdi