February 2010

Attention Undergraduate Students! BMEStart deadline is this week!


Deadoine for BMEStart is this Friday!

New this year, NCIIA's BMEStart Competition recognizes undergraduate excellence in biomedical innovation. The competition is open to all undergraduate student teams at colleges and universities, and students enrolled in senior biomedical engineering capstone design courses are especially encouraged to apply.

The deadline for applications is this Friday, May 14.

Click here for the competition guidelines.


Stanford's 'Endurance Rhythm' team launches startup company


Over the past two years, the Endurance Rhythm team, an E-team out of Stanford University, has worked on patenting a micro-generator for electronic implants of the heart.

While in the phases of developing its technology for powering implantable medical devices, the team has launched a new startup company, Endurance Rhythm Inc, for its device.

“Although the grant has ended,” said project primary investigator Paul Wang, “The project is continuing. The grant helped demonstrate proof of principle and ready our project for investment/partnership, which we are continuing to very actively seek. The grant was incredibly helpful and an amazing help for our team.”

Learn more about Endurance Rhythm, Inc. Read about the micro-generator.

Deborah Smith

Deborah Smith has worked for the Pinoleville Pomo Nation for almost two years, performing administrative work. She is also a tribal citizen. She has worked closely with UC Berkeley students (CARES) on Pinoleville's Sustainable Housing project since May 2008. In October 2009, she gave a Sustainable Housing presentation in Tuscon, AZ at the Tribal EPA conference. She recently became the grant coordinator for a ARRA Building Capacities Grant. She is an alternate for Region 9 RTOC Committee and, finally, works for the Pinoleville Pomo Nation's EPA Department, specializing in sustainable housing.

Angela James

Angela James is the Vice Chairperson of the Pinoleville Pomo Nation, located near Ukiah, CA. She is the coordinator of the economic development and planning program and oversees the education and HeadStart Department. She has been an active member of the design team in co-designing housing for tribal members.

David Edmunds

David Edmunds has a PhD in geography and has worked in community resource management for twenty-five years. He is currently the Environmental Director for the Pinoleville Pomo Nation (PPN) in Ukiah, California. There he works on a range of environmental issues, including green procurement policies, green building codes and policies, environmental education and partnership building. He helped facilitate the collaboration between the PPN and the University of California, Berkeley on culturally inspired and environmentally sustainable designs for tribal housing.

E-Team spotlight: Solar lanterns for Ghana


Since Fall 2006, the SociaLite E-Team has worked on bringing solar lighting systems to rural regions of Northern Ghana and Southern Rwanda. The current phase of the project is to sell their innovative solar lamp to villagers.

The team has recently seen its first sale in Tampaala where 25 lamps were purchased by villagers.  “…they were highly motivated,” says Noble Ayikutu, E-Team member from Wa Polytechnic, Socialite's partner in Ghana. “They needed more.”

In addition, the team was able to visit other sites that may be able to use the solar lamp, including Bazeng and Namberg. Keep up with the project.


Kofi Taha

Kofi Taha is a former MIT D-Lab student, having led a trip to Ghana this January. He is a graduate student at MIT in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. His research interests include sustainable fuel, water and sanitation, and food security in rural and unplanned urban communities. He currently is working in D-Lab to develop curricular materials that teach the technology design process to rural farmers, out-of-school youth, and other interested community members. He has participated in agric-charcoal trainings in four countries and helped to develop a comfortable and efficient briquette pressing station.

Ariel Phillips

Ariel Phillips is a MIT D-Lab trip leader to India and Rwanda. Ariel grew up in California, received a master’s degree in Agricultural Education from the University of California, then a doctorate in Human Development from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Her interests include human communities, learning environments, leadership, biodiversity and its relationship to development work. She works at Harvard University in an office that provides several kinds of programs, including personal counseling and workshops on group relations, leadership, creativity, and career choice.

Gwyn Jones

Gwyn Jones is a MIT D-Lab trip leader to Guatemala, Peru, and India. He grew up outside Philadelphia, PA and attended mostly Quaker schools. In 1984, he graduated from Hampshire College with a concentration in a combination of natural science and economics. After graduation, he moved to the Boston area and did small business consulting that led to starting a company manufacturing high-end bicycle frames (Merlin Metalworks). He spent over twelve years with the company in a variety of roles, including engineering and product design. In 2005, he started volunteering with Amy Smith’s D-Lab program as a project mentor on a pedal power project. Since then, he has worked on a range of engineering projects for the developing world, largely but not exclusively in energy and agriculture. He is currently teaching a course in human power for development and is working on a rickshaw project with a partner organization in Assam, India.

Nadia Elkordy

A former D-Lab student, Nadia is a 2008 graduate from MIT with an SB degree in Mechanical Engineering. She has participated in a number of development endeavors, including a rope pump training and construction project while in Honduras, and an ongoing project in collaboration with the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) to develop a process for making pencils from bamboo, a venture that will eventually be implemented as an income-generating enterprise in India. She currently is currently living and working in Spain.