Purdue ECE student helps Purdue win award for lighting
Purdue University has been recognized by APPA Leadership in Educational Facilities for a device developed by a Purdue ECE student that is designed to collect light levels more efficiently across the West Lafayette campus.
Jay Knepp, a computer engineering major, created the light level meter for which Purdue has received the 2020 APPA Effective and Innovative Practices Award. The portable light level meter has changed the way campus light levels are collected and analyzed and has been transformative for project planning within the department.
“The Effective and Innovative Practices Award recognizes new programs or significant restructuring to existing programs that have demonstrated improvement at the educational institution and could be readily adapted to other campuses,” said Anthony Guerrero, vice president of member and community engagement for APPA.
Knepp used his technology skills to construct a light level meter that collects both light levels and GPS coordinates as it is pulled along. The device can collect 1,600 light readings in just one hour, compared to 30-40 readings with the older, hand-held method. The light meter identifies outdoor areas where lighting can be improved, which helps prioritize lighting projects.
“The physical facilities staff was really open to hearing about my idea for the project. They were very supportive in helping drive some of that innovation,” Knepp said. “It’s exciting to think about the long-lasting impact this will have on my fellow Boilermakers.”
Brad Bowen, director of asset management and university engineer, said the university is beyond grateful for Knepp’s creative thinking.
“The light level meter is something we continue to utilize on a regular basis,” said Bowen. “The increase in efficiency, the increase in data and the development of a light level map will improve campus safety for many years to come.”
Submissions for the award are based on criteria measuring institutional benefit; innovativeness, creativity and originality; portability and sustainability; management commitment and employee involvement; and documentation, analysis, customer input, and benchmarking.