A Press RO System: An Interdisciplinary Reverse Osmosis Project for First-Year Engineering Students


  • S. Scott Moor Lafayette College
  • Edmond P. Saliklis Lafayette College
  • Scott R. Hummel Lafayette College
  • Yih-Choung Yu Lafayette College


Construction and analysis of a dead-end reverse osmosis system for purifying salt water is the project in our first-year “Introduction to Engineering” course. The apparatus uses a piston and lever arm to create the pressure necessary for reverse osmosis. This project is interdisciplinary and includes structures and stresses (CE and MEW), mechanical advantage (ME), water treatment (ChE and CE), membrane processing (ChE), and circuits (EE).

Author Biographies

S. Scott Moor, Lafayette College

S. Scott Moor is Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Lafayette College. He received a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from M.I. T in 1978. After a decade in industry he returned to academia at the University of California. Berkeley, where he received a PhD in Chemical Engineering and an MA in Statistics in 1995. His current research focuses on educational materials development and on the visualization of fluid and transport dynamics in Wurster coating, in fluidized beds, and in spray drying.

Edmond P. Saliklis, Lafayette College

Edmond Saliklis is Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lafayette College. He received his BS from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1984. his MS from Syracuse University in 1988, and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992, all in Civil Engineering. His current research focuses on the mechanics of thin wood-based plates and thin concrete and masonry shells.

Scott R. Hummel, Lafayette College

Scott Hummel is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Lafayette College. He earned a BS at the University of Hartford in 1988, an MS at Stevens Institute of Technology in 1996, and a PhD at Lehigh University in 1998. His current research focuses on the wear properties of nonlubricated stainless steel components and on the LENS rapid prototyping process.

Yih-Choung Yu, Lafayette College

Yih-Choung Yu is Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Lafayette College. He received a BSEE degree from Chinese Culture University in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1987, an MSEE degree from the State University  of New York at Binghamton in 1992, and a PhD degree from the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include control applications for bioengineering and medical device development.