Department of Mechanical Engineering

Humanitarian Projects

 

Design Program logo

 

Engineering for Global

Improvement of Human Life

 

 

Drying Mangos                                                                          San Jose School Pumping Station

Drying Bins                                                                                Portable Hand Pump

Michigan State University's College of Engineering is offering courses to aid students' development into global citizens, and to assist them in experiencing first hand how they can impact the world.

The College of Engineering has been able to offer ME 481 Senior Design, ME 490 Independent Study, ME 491 International Development and ME 478 Product Development taught or advised by Dr. Brian S. Thompson. In these classes, students designed a humanitarian project that improves the quality of life for those living in developing countries and rural areas. Students use their engineering experiences and creativity to help solve problems that many people face daily. Spartan Engineers are increasing their impact in the world by developing these global solutions and are working to improve life for the 80% of the world population that falls below the poverty line. 

Living in the bottom 80% of the world population means making less than $2.00 USD a day, most likely no running water in the entire community, and no available electricity. The following projects aim to make daily tasks such as processing food, retrieving water, caring and storing crops, and simplifying other manual tasks to make them more efficient. 

 

Engineering Undergraduate Grant for Dire Needs Overseas

Four senior-level Mechanical Engineering students, Joe Aljajawi, Adam Kluz, Adam Lyman, and Alex Morita, are the inaugural winners of the "Engineering Undergraduate Grant for Dire Needs Overseas". This competitive grant has been established by an anonymous group of donors, and the winning team will diffuse their human - powered pigeonpea thresher in the small-holder farming communities of Guatemala. Learn More.

 

 

The International Projects


Bean Seed Dryer

Bean Seed Dryer

 

Class: ME 481


Team:
Ben Ambrose
Dan Dreliozis
David Gaunt
Chenai Mushiri
Tim Polom

Advisors:
Dr. Giles Brereton
Dr. Luis Flores
Dr. B.S. Thompson

The Bean Seed dryer utilizes sunlight to heat air trapped in the ductwork which is then forced into the drying hut by a large fan.

 Bean Thresher

Bean Thresher

 

Class: ME 491

Team:
Zach Albright
Ben Ambrose
Erika Crosby
Khoa Nguyen

Advisors:
Dr. Luis Flores
Dr. B.S. Thompson
Dr. Fernando Aldana
Julio Cesar

 The Bean Thresher is a device used to remove the beans from their hull after harvest.

 Cassava GrinderCassava Grinder  

Class: ME 491 

Team:
Jared Dorvinen
Adi Kosgi
Kyle Schubel
Brian White

 

Advisors:

Dr. B.S. Thompson
Mr. Simon Wachieni

The Cassava Grinder uses an air drying bin to store and dry the cassava which can then be ground up by rotating the perforated barrel. The ground cassava can then be used as flour.

 Pressure Cooker PotsPressure cookers for Africa  

Class: ME 478

Team:
Scott Hall

Kyle Justus
Kameron O'Kline
Michael O'Brien

Advisors:

Dr. Brian S. Thompson

The design of a pressure cooker is utilized to adapt any pot or pan into an efficient method of cooking, particularily appealing to beans which take an extrememly long time to cook with conventional methods and can be toxic if undercooked.

 Clean StoveClean Stove proto 1.0  

Class: ME 478

Team:
Robert Boomer
Dan Howarth
Carly Patterson
Andrew Putz

Advisors:

Dr. John Barrie
Dr. Brian S. Thompson

 A clean stove is exactly as it sounds, a device that burns fuel so efficiently that emmissions and smoke are minimized. This is achieved by gassification of the fuel which it is this gas that is burned instead of the fuel itself.

 Maize Flour ProcessingMaize Grinder  

Class: ME 491


Team:
Jared St. Aubin
Karsten Harns
Andrew Nuttall
Scott Shaw

Advisors:
Simon Wachieni
Dr. B.S. Thompson

The Maize Flour Grinder can process maize into a usable flour consistency for cooking.

 Mango DryerMango Dryer  

Class: ME 491


Team:
Marcus Cannon
Haley Orr
Nick Schooley
Michael Trotter

Advisors:
Simon Wachieni
Dr. B.S. Thompson

The mango dryer utilizes the natural energy of the sunlight in tropical climates to dry mangos and other fruit so that it may be stored for extended periods of time.

 Portable Water PumpPortable Hand Pump  

Class: ME 491


Team:
Matthew Malek
Michael Mehall
Andrew Mozer
Daniel Pylar

Advisors:
Simon Wachieni
Dr. B.S. Thompson

The portable pump was designed as an efficient way of moving water in any area needed.

 Rope PumpRope Pump  

Class: ME 478


Team:
Daniel Kenny
Tyler Rumler
Jonathan Shapiro
Austin Tokarski

Advisors:
Dr. Luis Flores
Dr. B.S. Thompson

The Rope Pump is a device made of scavenged materials to pump water from some distance, usually from a hand dug well.

 Treadle PumpTreadle Pump  

Class: ME 478


Team:
Ann Barrett
John
Peter Engstrom
Filipe

Advisors:
Dr. John Barrie
Dr. B.S. Thompson

The Treadle Pump is primarily used to irrigate fields and move water horizontally via a treadle (oscillation movement) and two piston cylinders with rubber seals.

Other ProjectsOther projects-dryer This section of other projects contains some projects and field work that has already been completed and implemented around the globe. These are MSU engineering ideas from ME 490 and ME 491 that are actively serving communities and helping people around the world.

 

"1000 days, that is the number of days to the deadline for reaching the MDGs, and the number of days in which to save a child's future."

- Dr. Welch

Back to top