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.

Lemelson-MIT Program

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The Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition honors promising collegiate inventors around the country, undergraduate and graduate, who have inventions in either the categories of healthcare or consumer technology. Inventions can address issues in both developing and developed economies.

Undergraduate teams can win up to $10,000 and graduates can win up to $15,000. Applications are open for the 2015 year and are due by January 30, 2015.

Engineering Grad’s Electric Vehicle Breaks Speed Records

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HybridCars reports on University of Denver mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Eva Hakansson, who set several speed records in her homemade, streamlined electric sidecar called KillaJoule. The vehicle clocked in at 241.9 miles per hour, beating the previous sidecar speed record by 25 mph. The car is 19 feet long and weighs more than 1,500 pounds, and is completely powered by Lithium batteries.

KillaJoule is also the world’s fourth fastest battery-powered vehicle. Hakansson, daughter of a champion racer, has degrees in mechanical engineering, business, and environmental science. According to the article, she built most of KillaJoule in her two-car garage in Colorado over the course of five years. She currently works as a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well.

Hopkins Students are Finalists in $10 Million Qualcomm Contest

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Nineteen Johns Hopkins University undergraduates, most of them engineering students, make up the only undergraduate team that was selected to compete in the final round of Qualcomm’s Tricorder XPRIZE international competition. The team, called Aezon Health, first started competing in 2012  to develop consumer-friendly “tricorders,” reminiscent of a gadget used by Dr. Leonard McCoy in Star Trek, that can diagnose 15 different conditions from a patient’s vital signs. The device can weigh no more than five pounds.

Aezon’s device, according to JHU Engineering, can scan for illnesses like strep throat and urinary tract infections, and includes a smartphone app and cloud database to store test results for later use.  The device could alleviate problems of access to basic healthcare screenings that many areas of the world suffer from.

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