Tag Archives: Grand Challenges

Berkeley’s Engineers are Cooking!

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The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, knows a lot about power lunches. Still, its grand entryway never hosted anything quite like the  crowd gathered over smoky cookstoves one recent rainy noontime, trying to coax enough heat to cook a large pot of rice.

Homeless people? Hardly. These were graduate students in the development engineering design emphasis (like a minor for Ph.D.s) working on a project for Development Engineering C200. The idea:  Technologies to alleviate poverty not only must be technically sound but also economically feasible and culturally appropriate to gain widespread use.

Cookstoves make a useful case study, because 3 billion people cook on the dirty, smoky, inefficient devices.

Click HERE to read the full Berkeley news article.

Students Plan to Use Senior Project to Help Rural Kenyans

What started as just a senior project for a group of undergraduate engineers could now save and improve lives in rural Kenya. A University of Buffalo senior structural engineering class is looking to fund and implement their design  — a 130 to 200-foot-long footbridge — in rural Kenyan villages, where dangerous ravines that swell during the rainy season have killed over 6,000 people in the last 10 years.

The students worked in partnership with a nonprofit called Bridging the Gap Africa to design a suspended bridge made mostly of steel and eucalyptus wood that can be sourced in-country, according to a University of Buffalo press release. The students estimate about $20,000 will be needed for construction costs, as well as additional money to travel to Kenya to help build their design.

Film Features Stanford Students’ Pursuit of Human-centered Design

The documentary Extreme by Design reveals the work of Stanford University student design teams as they develop solutions for the developing world. One student team works on a breathing device to keep babies alive in Bangladesh. Another seeks a way to store drinking water in Indonesia. A third team tackles an intravenous medicine infusion pump.

The film opens on the first day of a Stanford course, Design for Extreme Affordability, introducing teams made up of engineering, business, and medical students. The documentary ends eight months later as one group returns to Asia to test their device amid plans to launch a startup.

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Engineers Without Borders Plan Sustainable Development

When Dan Wessner, professor of politics at Regis University, asked an audience of engineering students how a mother in an impoverished nation could allow her newborn baby to become malnourished and die, he wasn’t expecting a concrete answer. He instead wanted the students to consider the sustainability needs of the people and apply those needs to their development work.

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Students’ Anemia-Detection Device Wins $250,000 Grant

A low-cost anemia-detection device developed by undergraduate biomedical engineering students at Johns Hopkins University has won a $250,000 seed grant in the Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development competition. Called HemoGlobe, the device transforms a basic cell phone into a non-invasive anemia screening and reporting tool, according to a Hopkins press release. Harnessing the cell phone’s computational power, it estimates a woman’s or newborn’s level of hemoglobin to determine anemia. If the patient is moderately or severely anemic, the community health worker can counsel the patient to seek appropriate medical care, simultaneously transmitting the data to a central repository in a “Google Maps” format for better targeting of scarce health systems resources.

Continue reading Students’ Anemia-Detection Device Wins $250,000 Grant