While participating in the Hatchery, a 12-week summer entrepreneurial experience run by Lehigh's Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Innovation, Rossin College undergrads Brennetta Thames and Emma Hillman developed CitiSense, a business concept that could lead to better monitoring of indoor air quality—and a viable business.

Thames (environmental engineering) and Hillman (mechanical engineering and environmental studies) recently discussed their project with Lehigh Valley Business, explaining that CitiSense “blends state-of-the-art air quality monitors connected to real-time data and statistics that can be used to identify air-quality challenges.”

The challenges come, in part, Thames says, as a result of too-infrequent property inspections, a situation that makes it difficult to keep track of air-quality issues and address them before buildings become blighted.  

LVB reports that “possible subscribers to CitiSense, such as property management professionals, government entities and hospitals, could find value in identifying and rectifying early-warning signs of potential air-quality problems and reducing ER visits, hospitalizations and absenteeism caused by preventable, unaddressed issues such as mold and remnants of pest infestations.”

“We can see if a problem is starting to get worse in a house due to an air-quality issue; you would be able to detect it before an inspector comes around every couple years,” says Hillman. “It will keep constant tabs. There would be a lot less maintenance. It would be a lot earlier detection; you could solve those problems before they get too expensive.”

Read the full story on LVB.com.

Brennetta Thames and Emma Hillman

Rossin College undergrads Brennetta Thames, left, and Emma Hillman, present their CitiSense device, which monitors indoor air quality. Credit: Samantha McGinty/Lehigh University