Peter Haas: Haiti’s disaster of engineering

“‘Haiti was not a natural disaster,’ says TED Fellow Peter Haas, ‘It was a disaster of engineering.’ As the country rebuilds after January’s deadly quake, are bad old building practices creating another ticking time bomb? Haas’s group, AIDG, is helping Haiti’s builders learn modern building and engineering practices, to assemble a strong country brick by brick.

“Inveterate tinkerer Peter Haas is the co-founder of AIDG, the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group, which connect people to electricity, sanitation and clean water through a combination of business incubation, education, and outreach.” (TED)

Amy Smith shares simple lifesaving design

(the sound is very low, but the video is well worth it)

“Fumes from indoor cooking fires kill more than 2 million children a year in the developing world. MIT engineer Amy Smith details an exciting but simple solution: a tool for turning farm waste into clean-burning charcoal.

“Amy Smith designs cheap, practical fixes for tough problems in developing countries. Among her many accomplishments, the MIT engineer received a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2004 and was the first woman to win the Lemelson-MIT Prize for turning her ideas into inventions.” (TED)

Amy Smith is an inventor and educator.  She founded MIT’s D-Lab in 2002.  In 2010, she was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.