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WATERLOO, ON, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Harsh winter conditions may be
easier for Canadians to manage with new products invented by two
University of Waterloo graduates.
"Frost is a major problem for individuals and businesses daily. Not only
is it inconvenient but it has an impact on safety and can even hinder
economic activity," said Abhinay Kondamreddy, a nanotechnology
engineering graduate who developed Neverfrost along with three classmates.
Neverfrost is an environmentally-friendly technology that prevents
frost, fog, and ice formation. The innovation is the foundation for a
new startup, also called Neverfrost.
By spraying Neverfrost on a windshield at night, drivers can avoid
scraping and defrosting it on cold winter mornings, and clear the
windshield simply by running the wipers. The Neverfrost technology
prevents snow from freezing to the glass as well as fog and frost.
Neverfrost expects to begin taking pre-orders for the spray with a
Kickstarter campaign in March.Future plans for Neverfrost include
incorporating it directly into washer fluids.
Frost and ice create challenges for aircrafts, air conditioning,
commercial refrigerators, power lines, and agriculture - creating
future opportunities for the Neverfrost technology.
Kondamreddy is one of two entrepreneurs who continue to further their
technologies and startups thanks to a $60,000 Scientists and Engineers in Business fellowship. The fellowship is a University of Waterloo program supported by the
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario for promising
entrepreneurs who want to commercialize their innovations and start
For contractors who drop salt on parking lots and sidewalks, as well as
the municipalities or owners who pay for it, there's never been a way
to measure how much salt is actually dispensed. Smart Scale, an
automated salt logging and tracking system designed specifically for
the winter maintenance industry is changing that.
Developed by Raqib Omer, a Waterloo Engineering graduate, Smart Scale
uses exclusive hardware wirelessly paired with GPS-enabled smart phones
to track the location of a maintenance vehicle and amount of salt
dispensed, and logs the information on a cloud-based system in real
time. Since the cost of salt is based on size of load, property owners
can be assured they're getting what they paid for, as well as reducing
risks that exist in the industry.
"With growing public concern on the environmental effects of salt,
rising salt prices, and increasing fear of litigation due to slips and
falls, as well as driving conditions, reliable and accurate information
on salt application is becoming a necessity for maintenance
contractors," said Omer.
More than 20 winter maintenance contractors in Canada and the U.S.,
including Urban Meadows Property Maintenance Group in Ayr, Ontario,
currently use Smart Scale.
Urban Meadows owner, William Jordan, met Omer in the early testing phase
of Smart Scale and the startup phase of Omer's company, Viaesys. As the first contractor to test Smart Scale, he quickly learned there
were times his company was using too much salt.
"The accuracy rate wasn't there at all," said Jordan. "We're now able to
accurately monitor salt usage, prevent excessive material use, keep
bullet-proof records of our work and job-cost a lot better. The real
time tracking of salt has helped us use up to 30 per cent less salt."
Smart Scale is now installed on all four of his company's trucks which
service 75 properties in Cambridge and Ayr, including parking lots for
grocery stores and post offices.
Jordan, who is also chair of the snow and ice committee management
sector for the horticultural trade association, Landscape Ontario, says
he quickly jumped on board with Omer's research and would like to see
Smart Scale change the way salt is applied across Ontario. With no
industry standards for salt application currently in place, Smart Scale
could make this possible.
Neverfrost is part of the University of Waterloo's VeloCity startup incubator program and recently won two $1,000 grants at a VeloCity Fund Finals competition held in July.
Neverfrost is set to one of the first companies to operate out of the
new VeloCity Foundry - a workspace that will provide hardware-based startups with VeloCity
programming, plus free access to machinery, tools, and prototyping
equipment; and testing, wet lab and assembly space.
Nanotechnology Engineering is a multi-disciplinary engineering field,
which draws from and benefits areas such as materials science and
engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, and medicine. Waterloo's
Nanotechnology Engineering programs are offered collaboratively through
the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, and the
Chemistry Department in the Faculty of Science.
About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart
of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading
comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in
undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's
largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its
connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in
learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is
committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by
championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant
to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about
Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.
SOURCE University of Waterloo
Image with caption: "Abhinay Kondamreddy, a nanotechnology engineering graduate from the University of Waterloo, developed Neverfrost along with three classmates. Neverfrost is an environmentally-friendly technology that prevents frost, fog, and ice formation. (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131210_C9387_PHOTO_EN_34802.jpg
Image with caption: "Raqib Omer, a Waterloo Engineering graduate, developed Smart Scale which uses exclusive hardware wirelessly paired with GPS-enabled smart phones to track the location of a maintenance vehicle and amount of salt dispensed, and logs the information on a cloud-based system in real time. (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131210_C9387_PHOTO_EN_34803.jpg
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