Thanks to Georgia Tech students!

drinking water ewb uganda dec 2014 oTwo years of nights and weekends devoted to planning and design. Two years of writing reports, making presentations and getting official approval. Two years of raising money. Two trips to the remote community of Oloo, Uganda.

An Engineers Without Borders-Georgia Tech team traveled to Oloo, Uganda, in December to install a new hand-pump and well for the community. The travel group, from left to right: Colin Kelsall, Jessie Spruill and Meghan Reid.

And it all came down to this: connecting a chain to a hand pump and drawing up clean water for a village in desperate need of it.

 In December 2007, the Grand Challenges subcommittee of the Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) published a report, “Directing Matter and Energy: Five Challenges for Science and the Imagination.” The subcommittee identified 5 “Grand Challenges”. We have reproduced the challenges as quoted from the report’s Executive Summary.

Because these challenges inspire and compel our work, we feel they are important to share with you on our web site:

FriedFoods.jpgWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Technology developed by a food scientist at Purdue University could cook food that retains its "fried" flavor and consistency and has up to 50 percent less fat and fewer calories than food cooked using conventional methods.

The radiant fryer was developed by Kevin M. Keener, professor of food science in the College of Agriculture. It uses energy similar to sunlight to cook pre-formed food items like chicken patties, hamburgers and hash browns. Food is placed in wire trays that travel down a conveyor belt with radiant energy elements on either side.

Keener said many foods sold at fast-food restaurants are partially cooked at a factory and quickly frozen. Restaurant workers typically use an oil immersion fryer to finish the process.

thrusters.jpgA penny-sized rocket thruster may soon power the smallest satellites in space.

The device, designed by Paulo Lozano, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, bears little resemblance to today’s bulky satellite engines, which are laden with valves, pipes and heavy propellant tanks. Instead, Lozano’s design is a flat, compact square — much like a computer chip — covered with 500 microscopic tips that, when stimulated with voltage, emit tiny beams of ions. Together, the array of spiky tips creates a small puff of charged particles that can help propel a shoebox-sized satellite forward.

calltoboycot.jpgEngineers should stop working on killer robots and kick the habit of military funding, a leading Australian applied ethicist has said.

In a paper published in IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Monash University philosopher Dr Robert Sparrow, called on engineers to boycott work on military robots such as the controversial ‘Predator’ drone from the United States.

For decades, academic and industry researchers have been working on control algorithms for autonomous helicopters — robotic helicopters that pilot themselves, rather than requiring remote human guidance. Dozens of research teams have competed in a series of autonomous-helicopter challenges posed by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI); progress has been so rapid that the last two challenges have involved indoor navigation without the use of GPS.

But MIT’s Robust Robotics Group — which fielded the team that won the last AUVSI contest — has set itself an even tougher challenge: developing autonomous-control algorithms for the indoor flight of GPS-denied airplanes.

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This news service is provided by Good Samaritan Institute, located in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

GSI is a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of medical research by improving communication among scientists.