Architecture Student Wins Prize for Oral Presentation at Graduate Research Symposium

image of screen from project
Monday, April 4, 2022
Ketki Prashant Bapat graduates in May with an M.Arch. and M.S. in Architecture and Building Science.

Ketki Prashant Bapat was awarded first place for her oral presentation in the category of Arts & Architecture at the 2022 Graduate Research Symposium. Bapat is a dual degree graduate student pursuing a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Architecture and Building Science. She will graduate this May.

Bapat’s research project, “An Air-Depolluting System for Indoor VOC Reduction,” has been carried out through the Integrated Design Research Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Kyoung-Hee Kim, associate professor of architecture. The project has been funded by 2021 NSF ICorps Team program. It proposes a building façade that incorporates an internal shading screen coated with titanium dioxide. When sunlight hits the exterior glass, the ultraviolet light activates the titanium dioxide to react with harmful hydrocarbons (Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs) to turn them into harmless carbon dioxide and water vapor, thereby improving indoor air quality.

Ketki Bapat“As humans spend 90% of their lifetime indoors, indoor air quality affects their health and productivity,” Bapat said. “Volatile Organic Compounds are one of the indoor air pollutants that are emitted by building materials like carpets, plywood, etc. These VOCs are carcinogenic and cause many lung and heart issues leading to asthma and heart attacks and many more problems. The experiments conducted in the lab showed that there is almost a 50% reduction in VOCs with the help of titanium dioxide in the presence of UV light of sunlight."

The annual Graduate Research Symposium (GRS) is an interdisciplinary graduate student-run conference sponsored by the Graduate & Professional Student Government of UNC Charlotte and the Office of Research Partnerships. The 2022 Graduate Research Symposium was held on March 25. See the program here.