2014-15 Academic-year update. Cozette Zimmerman and Matt Jadro (Engineering/mechanical) collaborated with Ricky Myers (Business Administration/Technological Design minor) to develop a first prototype of a compost system for community gardens in The Gambia. In the spring of 2014, the team developed a thorough (37 page!) Product Design Specification covering areas such as technical specifications, manufacturing constraints, market constraints and dynamics, and the social and economic environment. During the 2014-15 academic year they designed, fabricated and began testing on a prototype system that can easily be built using locally available materials and manufacturing technologies. The materials needed to build this system would cost less than $20 in The Gambia. The prototype will be tested as a working compost drum in Elizabethtown, sharing these results with student teams at the University of The Gambia.
Midway through their senior year the students gave a project update. You can view that update below:
In January, a group of three engineering majors, Brian Brennan, Bobby Tausendfreund, and Greyson McDonald, formed a Junior Design project team to continue our collaborative work in West Africa. An abstract of their spring semester work:
Current lighting alternatives in the Gambia present health risks and are potential fire hazards. We want to create an inexpensive energy source for the Gambians that do not have access to cheap and safe light sources. To do so, we performed an extensive market analysis of existing lighting alternatives, while considering the resources and products already available in the country. The overall goal is to create a product that can mostly or entirely be made out of materials locally available in the Gambia. We concluded that a [gravity powered light] would be our best option for reliable lighting. It can be used indoors and continuously, regardless of weather conditions, and can be constructed with easily accessible materials. Our product will be useful for lighting the homes of people who otherwise would not have access to any sources of light after dark, and will be easily constructable so that anyone can adopt our design and build one for themselves.
The team will be traveling to The Gambia for a sight visit in August (more information regarding that trip is posted under the overview tab). A recording of their end of semester presentation on the project is available below.