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Saturday June 3rd

UNC student-designed devices can sanitize objects on campus using UV light

Sophomore Jared Porter, Ultraloop’s chief operations officer, uses one of the company's sanitation devices in Davis Library on Nov. 15.
Buy Photos Sophomore Jared Porter, Ultraloop’s chief operations officer, uses one of the company's sanitation devices in Davis Library on Nov. 15.

In an effort to provide an easier, more effective way to prevent the spread of germs, UNC has set up chemical-free sanitation stations across campus for student and faculty use. 

Located at these stations are Ultraloop devices — large metal boxes that sanitize everyday objects using high-frequency ultraviolet light. 

Jared Porter, a sophomore who serves as Ultraloop’s chief operations officer, said the sanitation devices  benefit students and faculty by solving an issue that most people do not even think about. 

“While hand sanitizer is effective in cleaning one’s hands, once contact is made with a different unsanitary object, such as your wallet, phone or keys, the process of sanitizing one’s hands becomes negated,” Porter said. “However, with the use of our Ultraloop device, the chain of infection from dirty personal items becomes broken.” 

Porter also said he has noticed the impact of Ultraloop devices since they arrived at UNC this semester. 

“I definitely believe that the implementation of our devices has made a positive impact on UNC’s campus for both faculty and students,” Porter said. “Whether it is our friends from class, or a new face to us on campus, when anyone on the Ultraloop team goes to check on one of the devices, we are always met with excitement.” 

Aditya Bhatt, founder and chief executive officer of Ultraloop, said it has been encouraging to see the excitement surrounding the Ultraloop devices. 

“It is motivating for us to know that they are excited about this,” Bhatt said. “Even some of our own professors came into class and told everyone in the class about it.” 

Regarding the future of the device on campus, Porter said there is a wide range of possible applications. He said the organization plans to provide sanitization options in various locations, such as kitchens, dining halls, recreational centers and athletic facilities. 

“Beyond deploying more devices in order to cover more entry and exit points, the future of Ultraloop on campus would entail introducing new devices that accommodate for all of the different sanitation needs on campus,” Porter said. 

While many students and faculty members across campus have used the Ultraloop devices, others have yet to try them out. 

Tymofii Burda, an exchange student studying business, said he is interested in using them in the future. 

“I am a very tech-savvy person, so any technological gadget sounds interesting to me,” Burda said. “Using this device to quickly sanitize my belongings would be one less thing I would have to worry about.” 

Porter, who grew up in Chapel Hill, said being able to help out the community in which he was raised has been a dream come true.

“Walking around campus and knowing that I am giving a potential extra degree of safety to everyone I see fills me with pride,” Porter said. “With the campus culture at the top of everyone’s mind, health and safety should never be a concern. Providing this ease of mind further encourages me to make sustainable sanitation and health care solutions available to all.”

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