Rensselaer and Grupo de Apoyo at Sector Rural for a Sustainable Peru

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2006 - $45,195

Getting appropriate technology implemented in rural ares in Peru is very difficult due to the geographical dispersion of the approximately 70,000 communities living in extreme poverty. To help solve the problem, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is collaborating with two Peruvian NGOs: Grupo de Apoyo al Sector Rural at the Pontificia Universidad del Peru and the Inca-Bus mobile technology education program. The goal of the collaboration is to create and build systems for sustainable sources of energy and clean water and air for the rural population. Interdisciplinary student design teams from RPI's chapters of Engineers for a Sustainable World and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers will build the systems. Projects will be identified and evaluated based on impact on basic human needs and potential for commercialization.

Summer 2009 update: In 2008 the RPI team set up communication with Peru and received funding to build a demonstration house designed by RPI where technologies they developed were installed and tested. They designed a prototype guinea pig house, a well drilling and pumping system and an improved biomass stove and press for the reformulation of dung. By 2009 this team had also designed and built a solar-powered lighting system, dung stove chimney and drilling bit/rope-pumping system. Because of this project, several classes at RPI now have sustainable engineering components. The team received follow on funding from NCIIA in order to develop affordable and easy-to-use pasteurization equipment for rural families in Peru.