Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics PhD, 2011
My research and personal interests meet in the field of Appropriate Technology (AT), and more broadly, humanitarian development efforts. AT seeks solutions that help people help themselves; ideas, processes, and devices that alleviate suffering and/or increase productivity (and thus income) while being economically, socially, and environmentally appropriate. AT is an important part of humanitarian development, which includes many intermingled fields such as medicine, education, politics, business, and more.
My current research focus is on alkali-activated cement, which transforms iron blast furnace slag, an industrial waste, into environmentally friendly cement competitive in cost and performance with ordinary Portland Cement. Slag is available all over the world, including some developing countries. As part of the ongoing Lathes For Africa project, I spent 3 weeks in Tanzania with a Drexel team, helping to build wood-turning lathes of our design, out of scrap car parts. I am eternally grateful for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which has opened many doors. The application process was challenging, with 30+ revisions over two attempts, but entirely worthwhile. For more, my website is available here.