Archive for October, 2012

Happy interviewed Josh Scotland at GHTC 2012. Josh was a volunteer at the first GHTC last year when he was a student at UW. This year Josh is one of the candidates in the student competition. Happy hopes to see Josh at each GHTC in the future.

Happy found out that Josh graduated recently and he is working in Cupertino, CA now and so he becomes a GOLD member this year! Josh also pointed out he likes Byron Reese’s presentation at GOLD session a lot. GOLD session was great and ice cream made that night even better =)

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Join the GHTC closing plenary LIVE

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Finalist – Edupad: A tablet based educational system for improving adult literacy in India

Finalist – automobile Safety using Smart Phone

2nd place – Efficient Production of tactile text books for blind students

2nd place – Tropical storm Wind Turbine

1st place – Wound Pump

Check out the GHTC blog for more details of these projects HERE

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The first portion of the presentation establish models to evaluate parameters effectiveness to the energy system. It’s a useful tool to do trade studies to determine the priorities of system design optimization. Similar approach could be tailored to different systems or parameters. This approach provides a means to take the system holistically instead of individual components.

The HOMER presentation presented similar approach for different power system architecture in rural area.

AKM Azad presented solar home system component qualification testing procedure. This is the first presentation that works with qualifying actual of the shield product. To provide a comparison, figure of metric is also established.

Nathan presented a study for the new cookstove adoption to the rural area. The figure of merit not only takes the cookfuel efficiency, which includes time to prepare biomass, but also the adaption rate for the cookstove. It shows that a great product may have great performance but lacks of the adaption greatly reduces the value of the product. Also, there is no solution fits all because the “customer” need simply varies from cooking 5lbs to 100lbs food. Differentiation for different needs are needed.

Yaser, the last presenter, adds an new element to the figure of merit on the global level- Peace, to address the conflict of energy resources. It’s an new thought to integrate the energy solution to a larger global scale.

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Low cost, low power 12VDC Surgical Suction Device for use in Developing Countries

By Pritpal Singh

The project started because the author was moved by a presentation of a woman from Nigeria in the conference a few years ago, who brought the solar panel box to the conference. The existing technology of surgical suction cost $250-3500 per year. The goal of the project was to develop a low-cost suction device for lower than $50 that can run off 12V power supply. With this project, students in University of Villanova were awarded a prize as well.

Optical Measure of Enamel Health: Ability to Triage High Risk Children without Dental Practitioners

By Liang Zhang

Tooth decay among children is widespread globally. The current primary diagnostic techniques are more than century old. The objective of the project was to develop a simple and robust method to discriminate healthy and diseased enamel. The proposed setup uses spectrometer, and in this project, the technique quality was examined.  For devices to be made in the future, the team is considering to invent a low-cost bench top or handheld device as well as a device to classify between healthy and unhealthy tooth.

‘Gest-BOT’ A highly convenient locomotive solution for the elderly and physical challenged

By Ramesh Nair

The developed product is a wheelchair with the function of gesture recognition. The results of the responses of gesture recognition under different situations were shown in the presentation. The video of working prototype was also shown during the presentation.

Options for Medical Oxygen Technology Systems in Low-resource Settings

By Beverly Bradley

The proposed system is a solar-charged battery system of oxygen technology for developing countries. More of the work will be done in the future in order to achieve the implementation of the proposal.


By Lakshika Paiva

Obstructed labor is a big cause for maternal death in developing countries, especially in rural areas. In order to help on this cause, the team develop the PartoPen to help WHO officers record the partograph with more detailed information as well as more instructions. The author went to Nairobi in Kenya to test the product, and she got positive feedbacks from the nurses in the clinic. They also conducted student pilot, and currently are running the nurse pilot. The next step of the project is to scale up as well as to explore the data collection potential to influence global health.

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Creation of iSPACES provide science, systems and entrepreneurship, very similar to hacker spaces. Instead of focusing on education, focus on creating an application. Knowledge is only useful if it can be applied. Otherwise, it is useless to people who traditionally learn through experience.

Revamping schools by introducing a rapid prototyping center thorough an innovation space provides teachers and the community opportunity for innovations. One solution iSPACES promotes is a universal connector solution, one place will manufacture while anyone can create prototypes. The prototypes are then sent off to the informal workshops that are very good at cloning things with good quality.

\There are different options that make this feel very much like Kinects or an Erector Set. Using materials readily available and of quality that will last for at least 10 years. The expected result to all of this is creation of businesses.

Opportunities for Social Innovation at the Intersection of ICT Education and Rural Supply Chains

Trans-formative education. Education that can be applied right now. Utilize skills already known, but transform that job into something that pays more. If carrying a basket is the current job, why not carry bricks for higher pay? They are creating a dynamic system for distributing videos on anything someone wants to share for a “how-to”. People go to the CLC (central learning center).

If I have a product, I would make a video on how to use a product. Then the traveling distributors can train the customer.

Scalability has not yet been discussed.

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What’s New at IEEE Xplore
Speaker: Michael Shapiro, IEEE Client Services and University Partnership Program Manager for Latin America

HAPPY is helping at the IEEE Xplore display table while listening to Michael about what’s new in IEEE Xplore, where all papers are peer reviewed, easily searched, based on reliable research… … All of IEEE conferences, standards, journals, same with IET and many more conference proceedings.

Searching also now supports both British English and American English spellings such as “fibre optics” and “fiber optics” Lots of searching options and fields. There’re also eBooks and eLearning materials too.

Try it out, you’ll find it to be one of the most useful research tool!

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USACE Technologies: Supporting Your Disaster Relief Operations
USACE engineers support both civil and military operations worldwide. Some of those expertise and technologies lend themselves well to humanitarian disaster relief. We have applied our expertise domestically & internationally (e.g., Haiti). For the area of military base camps, a suite of technologies used in of water, wastewater, and power management. Cutting edge research & development affords us real time sampling and analysis for water supplies ensuring sanitary quality for disaster scenario’s use. Selective humanitarian technologies developed – within the portfolio of – the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) will be reviewed. Working with other US Government agencies, host countries and NGO’s, most of these technologies can be made available for non-military use.

Portable Environmental Sensing: From Bench to Field
By Dr. Donald Cropek
 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has invested resources in research to develop robust, standalone, sensitive sensors for rapid environmental assessment at friendly sites as well as for quick screening applications at forward base locations under far more challenging conditions.  In this talk, I will provide a top down discussion of our work in this arena from platform product development that utilizes polymer chip components and chemistries designed for particular applications, to our basic research in paper microfluidics.  Biosensing using cell based constructs is a major direction of our laboratory through our Water Toxicity program and aspects of microfluidic design, fluid flow, channel interconnects, cell culture, and miniaturized detection schemes that have grown from this program will be covered.

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Engineering & Community: EPICS by Leah Jamieson

Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)  was founded in 1995 at Perdue University and offers students academic credit for long-term team-based projects. It  now has over 30 teams, 500 students per year and over 8000 students involved since the founding from the Electrical Engineering department. It has since grown outside of the engineering department with 30% of students outside of engineering. It offers strength in community based projects.

The program expaned to over 20 universities worldwide. Additionally, pre-university (high-school) EPICS programs are in over 50 US Schools. This offers an introduction for pre-university students to engineering. A fundamental goal of STEM policies within the US.

EPICS provides service learning. It is noted to reflect on technical and life lessons learned bringing reciprocity. Creating partnerships and providing students with more than the technical knowledge to succeed. It provides communities and service and education organizations needed access to technical expertise that is normally prohibitively expensive: improved, enhanced and new services.

Question Posed: “If we change the perception of engineering  will we change who is interested in engineering? – Change of Perception. ” How do we interest more young people? If we change how we teach engineering  will we change who is interested in engineering? – Changing the reality.

EPICS projects in IEEE Projects in South Africa.  Joyce Mwangama

Solving engineering problems with high school students where they can help. Pilot project in 2009 to develop a wind turbine out of scrap material capable of generating 50 W of power. A second project from 2010, donated computers to an under privileged high school and sought to provide power through renewable energy. In 2011, they worked with two high schools to provide an orphanage better living conditions in Capetown.

Joyce observed the biggest benefit is more people participating in projects. It creates a feeder system by getting more and more people that want to participate.

Engineering Projects in Community Service at North Penn High School – Michael Boyer

Michael is a teacher in the North Penn High School bringing in technology to the trade skills taught traditional taught in high school. He created an engineering academy where students go through 5 courses in engineering covering topics such as CAD and soldering.

An interesting concept as an EPICS volunteer, consider yourself to “be a door hinge.” Without the hinge, students are blocked from opportunities, you show them the door to opportunity assist by swinging the door open acting as their hinge to progress.

The school system that Michael works in has 13,000 students in the school district. 3300 students in high school (grates 10-12) with 69 different home languages.This is such a diverse and large group and has many different aspects to generate projects and interest in engineering.

Students involved in EPICS were not getting enough connection from the outside to generate projects within. The ideas went to them versus the students creating their own projects. Since the introduction, this is now changing with one group “Energy Troopers” that saved the high school $170,000 in one year!

Michael is pushing to get EPICS in as a actual part of the high-school curriculum. The challenge now is with time and funding.

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photos tell it all.

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