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Biogas, Solar Energy, and Water Filtration

Autumn Semester 2015 marked the launch of the first Engineering Abroad and Service-Learning program to the African continent.  Roger Dzwonczyk & Mariant Gutierrez SotoLed by Dr. Roger Dzwonczyk and Ph.D. student Mariant Gutierrez Soto - and working in close collaboration with the Knowlton City and Regional Planning Section's Ghana Sustainable Change Program - 13 students from 8 engineering majors spent Fall Semester assessing the needs of severeal local communities in the Offinso North District of Ghana.  The students then researched, designed, developed, prototyped, and planned various engineering solutions to meet these needs.

Sensitive to evaluate the cost, sustainability, and local ownership of their solutions, the students of ENGR 5797.17S split into three (3) teams to develop and implement the following projects:

  1. Biogas Alternative Energy Project
  2. Solar Energy and Electric Power Project
  3. Water Filtration (Biosand) Project

Following a rigorous Fall Semester and a brief holiday break, these three teams and their two instructors left snowy Ohio for West Africa to implement these solutions and to lay the groundwork for future projects.

On the road to Techiman.Arriving in Accra, Ghana on 27 December, they immediately proceeded approximately  360 km north to Techiman in the Offinso North District where they imbedded themselves with the local communities, working hand-in-hand with new friends, experiencing the unique Ghanaian culture, and implementing their design solutions until returning to the frigid Midwest on 10 January.

While in Ghana, they ushered in the New Year and even became local radio celebrities.  Representing their respective project teams, Rachel Dubois, Adam Davidson, and Kave Anderson were interviewed by a local radio station to discuss their work on-air.  By all accounts, they had a great time talking about Ohio State, their majors, the projects they were implementing, and how they felt welcomed by the community and people of the Offinso North District.  The radio broadcast was done in English and in Twi (the Ashanti language spoken in that community in Ghana).

On-air Celebrities with CRUZFM 96.9 in Akomadan Celebrating the New Year in Ghana!