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18-year-old Filipino student wins engineering design competition in US

An 18-year old Filipino student led his team in bagging the grand prize in an engineering design competition in the United States with his air quality sensor, called Re-LAQS (Respiratory Local Air Quality Sensor).

Representing the Oxnard High School (OHS)-University of California Sta. Barbara, Carl Vincent Camilon Cuyos was hailed as over-all winner in the 2019 State Championship in Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement National Engineering Design Challenge (MESA-NEDC).

The competition was held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on Sunday.

Other nine competitors were students from UCLA, San Jose State University, California State East Bay, California State University Fresno, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Davis, San Diego State University, and Imperial Valley College.

Cuyos was behind the design of the winning entry of his team, while teammates Sara Centeno was on research,  Jenna Huynh on business, David Pulido worked as programmer and teacher Nicholas Peterson as their adviser.

Re-LAQS is sensor built to bring information and awareness to the public, who are vulnerable to air quality changes, such as potential harmful gases, in times of crisis such as in wildfires.

During the blaze of California wildfire in 2018, citizens received conflicting and inaccurate data which aggravated their condition, especially those with upper respiratory tract infection like asthma.

“Hence, the Re-LAQs innovation, aimed to protect 91 percent of the globe’s population, who live in polluted areas identified by the World Health Organization. To reduce air pollution threat and health cost, people can use RE-LAQs, to measure air quality and take appropriate action,” said Cuyos whose grandparents originated from Mauban and Perez, Quezon.

Cuyos said the gas sensor is run by a nine voltage rechargeable battery, flashing LED alert and app compatible with Bluetooth, so it can be used both indoor and outdoor.

Due to this win, their team is set to participate in the National Championship at the University of Arizona in June 19 to 21. —Joviland Rita/LDF, GMA News