Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Focus on International Development

Hello, my name is Marcel, and I’m a junior Mechanical Engineering student at RHIT.  I’m one of the TEDx Rose-Hulman event organizers, but i’m also the project manager of Rose-Hulman’s Engineers Without Borders’ current project in the Dominican Republic.  For me, it has been incredibly eye-opening to see such extreme poverty so close to the country we live in (the DR is just south of Florida!).  Engineers Without Borders focuses on community-driven development programs and works to design and implement sustainable engineering projects in developing countries.  Our Rose-Hulman chapter has already completed three monumental projects in the Dominican Republic – a medical clinic roof, a septic system for the clinic, and community latrines for a nearby village.  More information about our organization can be found at our EWB webpage:

Throughout my time here at Rose-Hulman, seeing the hard work of other EWB members, our partners, and members of the local community that are involved in our projects has inspired me to strive towards more audacious goals for our organization.  This summer, we’ll be starting a new program in Ghana, which marks the beginning of a 5-year partnership with a local Non-Governmental Organization called the Gomoa Gyaman Youth Association.  I hope that as we continue to reach out to communities that need our help, our members continue to inspire others to do great work, just as I was inspired when I first joined.

Looking forward to May 10th, 2013!

-Marcel Snijder

Plumpy’Nut: One Example of How Engineering Impacts the World

Hey everyone – I’m Ranjana, another one of the student organizers for the TEDxRoseHulman event. Like Claire, I am so grateful for all the support we’ve received and can’t wait to see the final result.

The theme of our event is inspiring Rose students to realize their full potential after graduation. While it seems easy to take the first job offer or graduate school acceptance that comes our way, sometimes we need to also examine the bigger picture. As students of science, math and engineering, we can actually change and impact the world for the better, even if it means taking a less conventional route after college.

One real-life example that sticks out to me is the invention of a simple, peanut-based paste that is used to help nourish extremely malnourished children in third-world countries, Plumpy’nut. Plumpy’nut was invented by a nutritionist and Michel Lescanne, a French food processing engineer, who together formed the French company Nutriset. Plumpy’nut lasts for two years and doesn’t need to be prepared or refrigerated. Perhaps its best feature, though, is that it doesn’t require medical supervision, making it easier to administer and use. Rich in essential nutrients, Plumpy’nut could very well be a big stepping stone to combating malnutrition (at least, one subset of malnutrition worldwide).


Lescanne’s invention is just one example of how engineering can be used to develop tools that can help change the world and tackle the world’s biggest problems. Hopefully Rose kids will be inspired to do something similar with their lives!