Author Archives: Ranjana Chandramouli

Some Cool Facts about TED and TEDx, Part I

Hey everyone!

We’re less than two weeks away from TEDxRoseHulman! If you’d like to attend our event, don’t forget to register here. We only have a limited number of seats in Hatfield Hall, but we will still be simulcasting the show to various rooms across campus! Everyone is also invited to our dessert reception immediately following the event.

As promised, we’ll be handing out free TEDxRoseHulman t-shirts for people who know answers to our trivia questions, whose answers are listed below! Keep reading and stop by our table in the Union from 10:50-1:30 on Sept. 25th, 26th and 27th for a chance to win free stuff!

-TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. Their events work to bring people together from these three seemingly separate worlds.

-TEDx is under the umbrella of TED, and the ‘x’ denotes an independently organized event.

-TED’s motto is ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.

-TEDx events have been held in over 130 countries.

-Over 20% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a degree in engineering.

-There are over 16,500 TEDx talks online. About 168 of these talks have been elected to be featured on the official TED website.

-TEDx talks have a combined 120 million views online.

Engineering + Food = Success

Source for the picture.

I’m in Bangalore, India for the summer, and I can’t resist eating as much Indian food as I can while I’m here. One day, my mother took me to a new restaurant chain that I had never been to before – ‘Adiga’s’ – and mentioned to me that the Chairman and CEO was actually an engineer.

Vasudev Adiga was a working engineer when he was asked by his father to take over a failing family restaurant. At first, he wasn’t successful – he was ran himself into debt and there was endless competition around the city that ate away at his business.

Eventually, by researching other restaurants to find what made them successful and concentrating on those elements in his own restaurant, Adiga was able to make his business profitable and expand throughout the city.

In other parts of southern India, chain restaurants have risen in popularity to deliver fast, good quality Udupi cuisine, and some have even reached international fame. In Bangalore, however, Adiga’s is the first chain to really gain staying power and popularity. They even have plans to expand throughout India after receiving some private equity funding.

I doubt it was a coincidence that the man to turn the restaurant around and grow it into a franchise was an engineer by training. He was able to effectively identify the problem areas and create workable solutions to them and created a base model that can now be used throughout the country, a systematic approach of which any engineer would be proud.


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!