SIA, Center for Global Studies to host collaboration with Uganda

For several years, teams of Penn State students and researchers have worked to design structures, a social networking system, agricultural devices, and even a solar dryer for people in the developing world. Now, thanks to the newly established Center for Global Studies, The School for International Affairs is providing an opportunity to ground-test these technologies via live videoconference with colleagues at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. In cooperation with the World Bank and the Global Knowledge Initiative, the School of International Affairs will present the first ever “From Lab to the Field: Putting Penn State's Innovations to Work to Solve Real World Challenges” on April 22. The public is welcome.

“The focus of this event will be on interaction with African colleagues,” said event organizer Professor Caroline Wagner of the School of International Affairs. “This event will be of interest to engineers, scholars of international affairs, economists and, of course, those who are interested in solutions for the developing world,” said Dr. Wagner, a researcher of science and technology and its relationship to innovation, policy, and society.
Dr. Wagner added that the event is "catalyzed" by Dr. Nina Fedoroff, Penn State Professor emeritus who was most recently the science advisor to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Fedoroff knew there are many amazing projects at Penn State that could find broader reach. This event is one effort to seek foreign connections. I am so pleased she will be joining us at the event," said Dr. Wagner.
The first session of the day will center on Essential Design for Extreme Affordability, a project that Professor Khanjan Mehta spearheaded with his students, including students in the School of International Affairs.
“It's our responsibility to educate the next generation of entrepreneurial global citizens who can make the world a fairer place, friendlier place, a more sustainable place,” said Professor Mehta in a recent interview with WPSU's program Global Penn State. Professor Mehta has led multiyear research efforts into an affordable greenhouse, solar dryer, and technologies used in telemedicine.
Professor Gregory R. Ziegler of the Department of Food Science will present the second panel, “Community Kitchen and Small Scale Entrepreneurs in Food Manufacturing,” a project undergoing design work in Ethiopia.
The final panel is “Plasticulture, Plastifuels, and High Tunnels: Waste plastics as fuel” presented by James Garthe, professor of industrial agricultural engineering, and William Lamont, professor of vegetable crops, both from the College of Agricultural Sciences.

This event begins at 8:00 a.m. in room 118 of the Lewis Katz Building Auditorium; the early hour ensures a daytime link with Uganda. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m.