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Pins tagged with: Innovators

02. 07. 18:27h
While Segun Oyeyiola was a student at Obagemi Awolowo University, he converted his gas-guzzling Volkswagen into a fossil-fuel free machine by installing a giant solar panel on top and a wind turbine under the hood. While many people are still in denial about the seriousness of climate change and its impending effects, the engineering senior is under no such delusions. He told FastCoExist in an email, “I wanted to reduce carbon dioxide emission[s] going to our atmosphere that lead to climate change or global warming which has become a new reality, with deleterious effect: seasonal cycles are disrupted, as are ecosystems; and agriculture, water needs and supply, and food production are all adversely affected.” His concern for the environment motivated Oyeyiola to donate so much of his time and energy to create this amazing piece of design. The idea is that it becomes “Nigeria’s future car.” At inception, the battery took 4-5 hours to charge, which was not ideal. The biggest challenges, according to Oyeyiola, was finding the best materials to use, and the people telling him he was wasting his time.
02. 10. 05:27h
Born a slave on an Alabama plantation in 1849, Andrew Jackson Beard later became the inventor of several inventions, most notably the Jenny Coupler. This device hooked train cars together, which at one point were manually joined at dangerous costs—hence, the ex-railroad worker’s loss of his leg performing the task. For his invention, Beard was inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio, and managed to keep railroad workers safe thus forward.... Reamore at
02. 12. 20:57h
George Mel has dreamed of flying since he was a boy, but when his father died he had to give up his studies, and any chance of training to be a pilot. Instead he built a plane in his back yard - which so impressed his country's air force that it gave him a job. "I've had the passion to become an aeronautic engineer since I was young," says George Mel, a 23-year-old, who lives in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. "I love to make aircraft. "When I was still young I tried to fly. I got curtains and put metal in to form wings, and got on top of the roof. I wanted to see if I would fly like a bird, but I fell. I almost broke my leg." Despite such early disappointments, Mel set out to learn as much as he could about aviation. He went to study at high school in Uganda, but in 2011, as he was preparing for his final exams, his father died, leaving him unable to pay his tuition fees. He had no choice but to give up his studies and come home. But he continued to do whatever he could to teach himself aeronautics. He painstakingly gathered the materials to build an aircraft, scouring Juba's metal workshops to piece together an aluminium airframe, and importing two small petrol engines to power it. Using a garden chair for the pilot's seat, he put the aircraft together with information he found in old textbooks and on the internet. In late 2013, South Sudan slid towards civil war amid a power struggle between the country's two top politicians. But Mel continued working on his aircraft even as the conflict spilled on to the streets around his family compound. Shooting could be heard in his neighbourhood as fighting approached the United Nations mission close to Mel's home. "I didn't stop my project," he says, "I kept on doing it in my research centre. I just locked myself inside, and did my work. "A lot of people left the place but I didn't move anywhere. I didn't know where to go, so I kept on doing my work." Mel's "research centre" is his own room, where his bed sits alongside pieces of aircraft. "You can see wooden propellers here, and UAVs, because these were my interest, this is what I focused on. "This is where I sleep, and the same place where I do my research, because they don't have any working places like hangars at the moment." Occasionally, as the family bread-winner in one of Africa's least developed economies, he has deemed it wise to conceal his activities from the rest of the household. "Sometimes when I bring materials I sneak them into the house through the fence so they will not see. If they see, they will start saying I'm wasting money on crazy stuff," he says. But when Mel eventually took his work to the South Sudan Air Force, officers were impressed and gave him a job in their IT department. He is now hoping to get a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering abroad. So far the authorities in Juba have refused Mel permission to test-fly his ultra-light, restricting him to taxi-ing the aircraft in his yard. But he remains determined to realise his ambitions, for himself and for the future of his country. One of his aims is to develop a farming drone to spray crops, though in the long run, of course, he wants to design and build full-size plan
03. 21. 02:24h
William Kamkwamba, from Malawi, is a born inventor. When he was 14, he built an electricity-producing windmill from spare parts and scrap, working from rough plans he found in a library book called Using Energy and modifying them to fit his needs. The windmill he built powers four lights and two radios in his family home. After reading about Kamkwamba on Mike McKay's blog Hactivate (which picked up the story from a local Malawi newspaper), TEDGlobal Conference Director Emeka Okafor spent several weeks tracking him down at his home in Masitala Village, Wimbe, and invited him to attend TEDGlobal on a fellowship. Onstage, Kamkwamba talked about his invention and shared his dreams: to build a larger windmill to help with irrigation for his entire village, and to go back to school. Following Kamkwamba's moving talk, there was an outpouring of support for him and his promising work. Members of the TED community got together to help him improve his power system (by incorporating solar energy), and further his education through school and mentorships. Subsequent projects have included clean water, malaria prevention, solar power and lighting for the six homes in his family compound; a deep-water well with a solar-powered pump for clean water; and a drip irrigation system. Kamkwamba himself returned to school, and is now attending the African Leadership Academy, a new pan-African prep school outside Johannesburg, South Africa.
05. 26. 12:13h
Dr. Thomas Mensah is one of the greatest minds of the 21st century. Dr. Thomas Mensah is an internationally recognized authority in Fiber Optics and Nanotechnology and also a renowned Scientist and Inventor with 7 USA and worldwide Patents in over a period of six years. He has at least 25 Issued and pending patents to his name in general. He is the first black person to receive such number of patents in a short number of years, and was elected to the rank of Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in the USA. Dr. Thomas Mensah is one of the leaders in advanced materials that find applications in Aerospace, High Speed Rail, Windmill blade structures, and highly efficient cars. His current work in nano technology will revolutionize next generation batteries for electric vehicles and laptop computers. Dr. Mensah is one of the early proponents of High Speed Rail in America that integrates seamlessly with other modes of transportation to reduce green house effects. Dr. Mensah was named 100 engineers of the Modern Era, selected out of 1000 leading engineers by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The most popular of the scientist’s inventions is in Fiber Optics and Nanotechnology which earned him 7 USA and worldwide patents over a period of six years, making him the first black man to attain such a feat. He has some 14 patents today.
03. 29. 11:24h
Zimbabwean Genius inventor makes cars and and other prototypes running from radio frequencies