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Thursday, March 24 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
SociaLite: Engineering for the middle of nowhere

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Working with, designing for, and selling to communities whose average individual daily income is less than 25 cents a day presents a set of unique challenges. SociaLite is the story of a solar-powered community lighting system that started in a first-year, first-semester engineering design class and continues today in remote rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a story about design and entrepreneurship by undergraduate students within the context of anthropology, extreme engineering and limited resources--all outcomes constrained by adherence to a minimalist framework. It is a story about providing light to the extreme poor through an independent, self-sustaining venture set close to the point of end use. In conjunction with the Ministry of Energy, students and faculty at Wa Polytechnic in the Upper West Region of Ghana, engineering and training centers are being established for the sale, assembly, installation and maintenance of these lighting systems.

Thursday March 24, 2011 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT

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