Two New Graduate Programs at Hopkins

Johns_Hopkins_University's_Academic_SealJohns Hopkins University Engineering for Professionals, a division of the Whiting School for Engineering, has launched two new part-time graduate programs in engineering: space systems engineering and engineering management, according to Hopkins news. Both programs are accepting applications for the fall 2014 term.

Applicants to programs are eligible only if they’ve earned a science or engineering degree and have two years of relevant work experience. For the management program, core classes will mostly be management-based, but students will also work within one of 14 technical concentration areas that span engineering disciplines from cybersecurity to mechanical engineering. The space systems engineering program will allow students to work alongside scientists and engineers from Hopkins’ physics department as well as the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to understand space systems quality assurance, and how it’s used to develop spacecraft on time and on schedule.

Spotlight: Service-minded Students Face Hurdles

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The neonatal ventilator that a group of Brigham Young University engineering seniors built over the past year doesn’t look like it’s from this day and age, with its boxy shape and analog meters. The $40,000 version found in most U.S. hospitals can include touch screens and advanced capabilities to record a premature infant’s vital signs. But the BYU students’ seemingly outdated technology could help families in the Philippines and Africa, where the current best solution — a hand pump that families have to operate 24 hours a day — isn’t enough to keep many infants alive, according to a BYU news release.

The device has just enough functions to monitor a baby’s breathing patterns and deliver oxygen in a consistent, timed manner. Each costs about $500 each to make, and it’s easy to fix if it breaks, says team leader and recent mechanical engineering graduate Spencer Ferguson.

But the team has a long way to go before its machine is put to use. Currently the students are trying to raise $25,000 for animal tests. It’s hard to say when that goal will be reached, Ferguson says, and while they hope eventually to mass-manufacture the device and train nurses on how to use it, they don’t yet have a clearly defined plan.

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Notre Dame Students Build Solutions for Haiti

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Following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, Notre Dame University engineers began a housing initiative there through its program Engineering2Empower. According to the South Bend Tribune, students, faculty, and contractors have built two prototypes of the inexpensive but effective homes on their campus.

E2E includes two advisers and about 20 engineering students looking to restore housing in the Haitian community of Leogane. But it’s not just engineering, as the group welcomes students studying everything from business to marketing to political science. Poor construction techniques in Haiti left around 250,000 dead after an earthquake that was not considered remarkably strong, according to the Tribune. E2E doesn’t just stop at building homes though. According to their website, they strive to make sustainable projects that take cultural, political, and market factors into consideration.

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Surviving on Mars? One Nonprofit Has Some Ideas

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The Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah is where “astronauts” can get as close to a life on the surface of Mars, on Earth. According to Mashable, Crews can pay $500 per person to rent out the station for two weeks in the freezing winter, where they can don their space suits and conduct experiments as if they were really living on Mars.

The Mars Society, a group of worldwide volunteers who support the idea of putting humans on Mars, owns and operates the station. The station is not a perfect simulation, according to the article, but the idea is to have an experience that bigger organizations, like NASA, can build upon in the future. The society is funded in part by SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk.

Engineers Without Borders Student Chapters

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Engineering students involved in Engineers without Borders (EWB) have been designing and implementing low-cost, sustainable solutions in developing regions since the organization’s inception in 2002. EWB started at the University of Colorado – Boulder, but these days, there are more than 300 chapters around the nation, with projects in about 46 countries.

The organization has more than 13,800 members. “As a result of EWB-USA’s programs, children can cross sturdy bridges to attend school, local clinics have consistent supplies of electricity, and accessing clean water isn’t a full-day chore for families,” according to its website. Read about two notable projects below the cut.

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