Navigation Links
New engineering institute to modify, develop technology for the global poor

DALLAS (SMU) Pairing technological innovation with business collaboration to improve conditions for the global poor is the driving force behind the new Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity at SMU's Bobby Lyle School of Engineering.

Gifts totaling $5 million from Hunter and Stephanie Hunt, William T. and Gay F. Solomon, Bobby B. Lyle and others will establish the institute and initially create two endowed professorships to support a unique, interdisciplinary approach to delivering basic technology to the impoverished. Dr. Jeffrey Talley, chair of the Lyle School's Environmental and Civil Engineering department and a U.S. Army Reserve general, will be the founding director of the institute, which is to be housed in the new Caruth Hall upon its completion in early spring.

"The Institute for Engineering and Humanity will accelerate the ability of the Lyle School of Engineering to serve as a magnet for the kind of students and researchers who seek solutions to societal challenges," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "We are very grateful for the generosity of these donors, whose passion for improving the lives of others matches SMU's commitment to global leadership."

The institute strategy begins with the understanding that small-scale innovations already exist to solve many problems in poor communities, while others need to be modified to fit specific geographic and cultural needs. Safe, affordable and sustainable housing will top the Institute's project list, as well as ready access to clean water and sanitation; functional roads and transportation systems, and clean, reliable energy. The institute will create innovative approaches to easing poverty by encouraging markets for its ultra low-cost solutions, based on the principle that sustainable business models are more likely to accelerate global development than traditional approaches.

The institute's major components will include the following:

  • an easily accessible library of existing technological solutions that are certified and ready for widespread dissemination and use
  • a global database of regional technology gaps that need to be bridged to meet specific needs
  • research and development of new ultra low-cost technologies involving SMU faculty, students and industry partners
  • field testing and scaling of new products to ensure low manufacturing costs, durability, easy maintenance, and minimal impact on the environment
  • assistance to businesses that will manufacture and maintain these technologies

"This will be no easy challenge," said Geoffrey Orsak, dean of the Lyle School of Engineering. "To make basic technology globally available at a price the poorest of the poor can afford requires a radical rethinking of centuries of engineering practice. How many solutions have remained on the drawing board because they were too costly for communities that need them? How many have failed because they could not be locally repaired and maintained?"

It's going to take talented, motivated engineers to identify solutions for alleviating poverty, Orsak said, adding that the success of this new institute can have a profound impact on people who struggle just to survive with dignity.

The Lyle School's partnership with the renowned Lockheed Martin Skunk Works will provide proven innovation methodologies to support the institute's research and development efforts. The institute's approach to finding affordable solutions also will include national and international competitions and incentives, particularly targeted to students.

The Lyle School will begin an international search for a scholar who has broad experience in developing technologies and infrastructure for emerging economies to become the William T. and Gay F. Solomon Endowed Professor in Engineering and Global Development. Institute director Talley will hold the Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Professor in Leadership and Global Entrepreneurship.

With three billion people in the world living on $2 a day or less, institute donors Hunter and Stephanie Hunt believe global poverty is one of the most pressing problems of our time. "There has been a great deal of financial and commercial innovation in helping the impoverished, but there has been little technical and engineering innovation; we hope to fill that void," Stephanie Hunt said. "This new institute will take a creative but pragmatic approach to an immense challenge," Hunter Hunt added.


Contact: Kim Cobb
Southern Methodist University

Related biology news :

1. Bioreactor for bone tissue engineering wins professor venture fair
2. Avoiding dangerous climate change: Is geo-engineering the answer?
3. Engineering Careers for the Next Generation, Nov. 18
4. Battling cancer with engineering: NCI funds new $13 million cancer research center led by Cornell
5. CHEO RI study uses sophisticated genetic engineering to improve insulin-producing beta cells
6. Louisiana Tech University receives grant to advance women in engineering, science
7. Siebel Foundation awards top UC San Diego bioengineering graduate students
8. Sakayu Shimizu of Kyoto University recipient of 2009 Enzyme Engineering Award
9. Weeding out marijuana: Researchers close in on engineering recognizable, drug-free Cannabis plant
10. University of Miami receives NIH grant to support novel technology for tissue engineering
11. Engineering team to design and study liver mimics
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... commerce market, reports on the recent SNS Future in Review ... --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric ... on the recent SNS Future in Review Conference in ... Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... 2015 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile ... wallet announces that revenues for the three months ... with $113,00 for the three months ended June ... September 30, 2015 were approximately $520,000. ...
(Date:10/5/2015)... ) releases the following ... NXTD ), a biometric authentication company focused on the ... ) releases the following market and company update ... authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce market. ... ) releases the following market and company update ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... Oct. 13, 2015  According to Kalorama Information, ... reach $102 billion by the end of 2015. ... health industry, as it is estimated that approximately ... laboratory tests. In addition to diagnosing patients, clinical ... disease progression, monitor drug treatment and conditions, and ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... distributor of automation systems, material handling solutions and components, is opening its latest ... near State Street, the facility is Exotic’s second major expansion in Metropolitan Detroit ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 ... ... high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technologies, announced today that it received de novo ... 450 in the U.S. for the ablation of prostate tissue. Sonablate® is ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... educational opportunities for school age children in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering ... sectors of the national economy, and the program aims to increase the number ...
Breaking Biology Technology: