Tackling the World’s Engineering Challenges

January 15, 2014
Photo of woman using a bicycle-powered grain grinder in Tanzania.

A woman from Segeli, Tanzania, operates a pedal-powered grain mill while Jeannine Coburn, seated, adjusts the plates to alter the coarseness of the corn product being produced.
IMAGE: COURTESY OF JEANNINE COBURN

Armed with energy, knowledge and a desire to make a difference, teams of Whiting School students are traveling the globe as part of a program that matches their engineering acumen with the problems of the developing world.

Under the auspices of the Global Engineering Innovation Program,  students have traveled to the riverside village of Nazaçu in Brazil’s Amazon basin and to Arusha, Tanzania to assess the residents’ needs and to find engineering-based solutions that work for their particular circumstances.

The program’s design resembles that of the university’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders but is targeted especially to graduate students who can dedicate more years to a single project. Students form  teams of two to four with a JHU faculty mentor and a mentor at the host site.

“The program is open to undergraduates, but the graduate students bring an added level of maturity and experience to these projects, and for their part they get this international exposure and an opportunity to test their academic acumen,” says Jennifer Elisseeff, the program’s director and the Jules Stein Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute. Elisseeff also is a professor of biomedical engineering.

Founded in 2011, the program is hosted by the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology and is seeded by a grant from the Office of the President.

Excerpt from The Gazette. Read more

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