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Black & Veatch, Synexis effort in fighting illness-causing microbes wins Edison award
Collaboration involving Black & Veatch’s Atonix Digital, Data Centers illustrates the power of analytics in advancing health and science
A Black & Veatch partnership with Synexis Biodefense Systems that used data analytics to advance Synexis’ microbe-fighting devices in workplaces and other occupied spaces has won a coveted Edison Awards prize for “collective disruption.”
A team from Black & Veatch, a leading engineering and construction company with deep expertise in data analyses, and biodefense interest Synexis on Wednesday won the bronze prize during the 2018 Edison Awards gala in New York. The Black & Veatch team included members of the company’s Data Centers business, which developed the embedded sensors for the Synexis device, as well as Atonix Digital LLC, a Black & Veatch software subsidiary which developed the remote monitoring approach.
The Edison Awards recognizes and honors some of the world’s most-innovative new products, services and business leaders, propelling the drive for creativity and ingenuity. The yearly honors personify the persistence and excellence of the awards’ namesake, prolific innovator Thomas Edison. Finalists for Wednesday’s honors were deemed “best of the best” by roughly 3,000 of the world’s top senior business leaders, academics and innovators.
Wednesday’s award to Black & Veatch and Synexis recognizes their partnership in assisting Synexis, which sought robust sensors and analytics dashboards to advance its patented microbial defense system. Synexis uses ambient humidity and oxygen to produce dry hydrogen peroxide that combats airborne and surface viruses, bacteria and fungi in such domains as healthcare facilities, food and beverage manufacturing and distribution, athletic training facilities and public venues.
Analytics were powered by Atonix Digital’s cloud-based ASSET360® platform, which captures, integrates and analyzes data to generate actionable information. Remote monitoring offers real-time information about how each device is functioning independently and as part of the overall system.
Black & Veatch built iterations of prototypes equipped with sensors that, at Synexis’ request, measured airborne odorless, invisible elements. Everything from hydrogen peroxide to air temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide and acetone levels were gauged before being wirelessly uploaded into ASSET360®.
Atonix Digital deployed Internet of Things (IoT) communication to ensure Synexis’ access to information from thousands of distributed device installations, enabling Synexis and its clients to swiftly respond to operational and maintenance issues. The Black & Veatch and Atonix Digital teams now are helping Synexis design and build new prototypes and data collection, with a large meat-packaging plant and a soft drink company to beta test those devices.
“Our latest Edison Award recognizes not only the breakthrough public benefits that a forward-thinking collaboration can bring but underscores the role that robust data analytics has in producing real solutions,” said Fred Ellermeier, Interim President of Atonix Digital. “Technology such as this is always evolving, and our imperative is to continue leading the way.”
Synexis evaluated many potential partners to help develop a proprietary monitoring system with real-time feedback to efficiently mitigate environmental microbial threats. After speaking to Wes Denton, Managing Director of Data Centers about his diverse needs, Synexis CEO Eric Schlote said his company chose Black & Veatch, noting that “a large, well-established firm maintains an entrepreneurial culture allowing them to collaborate well with a company growing as rapidly as Synexis.”
“Synexis has proven the positive effects of our technology in numerous highly respected accredited labs and duplicated these results in a wide variety of commercial settings,” Schlote said. “The Edison Award further validates the disruptive nature of our microbial reduction technology.”
Black & Veatch was honored in 2017 with a silver Edison Awards prize in the transportation and logistics category for its work in hydrogen fueling-station deployments that further green transportation. In 2016, the company took gold in the smart grids and servers space for its microgrid that helps power the company’s headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas.