Engineering Answers on ‘DEMAND’: A new global review of engineering successes in development
At the bottom of many a development money pit is poor design. Fortunately, engineers can help prevent funding sinkholes from opening in the first place. In fact, the global development sector stands to save millions as it brings better-informed engineers into its fold.
Take, for example, clean-burning cookstoves that go unused beside smoky fires. The stoves may need a design upgrade to entice cooks to use them. Technological research in the field of global development is deepening and to take advantage of it, engineers and inventors will need better platforms for sharing their findings.
With that in mind, we’re pleased to announce the online debut of a new magazine for engineers and the global development community, DEMAND, ASME’s Global Development Review. The online edition also is available as a free application for Android tablets and the iPad. The app expands the print version with added information and sharp, interactive graphics.
“DEMAND occupies an unfilled niche at this important intersection of development and engineering, allowing for a discussion of insights and experiences. The attempt is to go beyond the merely anecdotal stories, while also maintaining readability for the person interested broadly in development,” says Anand Narayan, a member of the magazine’s editorial review board and manager of the Incubation Lab at SELCO Solar in Dharmasthala in southern India.
DEMAND’s pages mix case studies, stories and original reports from leaders in the sector’s fields. In the first edition, the U.S. engineering professors Nathan Johnson at Arizona State University and Kenneth Bryden at Iowa State University place pieces in the unused cookstove puzzle with their own research in rural Mali. Other notable topics include low-cost and rugged wheelchair design, remote sensors for project evaluation, smokehoods reimagined to fight indoor air pollution, and funding for social innovators.
“Our aim is to profile innovative solutions while challenging the existing and upcoming corps of engineers and practitioners to re-invent approaches, methods and assumptions that often stand in the way of effective and sustainable solutions,” says Noha El-Ghobashy, the director of ASME’s Engineering for Global Development Department – the team behind DEMAND – and also the president of Engineering for Change (E4C).
Reporting on technologies for sustainable development is our stock in trade and we have not been overlooked. E4C News supplied a segment of the publication with our own original reports (ASME is one of E4C’s founding organizations and our home office is at ASME’s headquarters in New York).
Four of our articles seeded the section:
- Five questions with Sasha Kramer: The ecological sanitation expert and director of SOIL in Haiti tells us what’s important about poop.
- Alex Odundo’s sisal twine manufacturing machines: This is how the sisal leaf can become a lot more profitable for Kenyan farmers.
- These cell phones are not technically urine powered : Microbial fuel cells in bathrooms could charge devices and treat water. But the technology is still taking baby steps in the lab.
- An ancient filtration material removes pesticides from drinking water : New research shows that biochar produced in a simplified gasifier strips agrochemicals from water.
DEMAND joins a growing library of publications that specialize in global development technologies. We’ve listed many of the most prestigious journals, books and online media in our Learning Lab. The new magazine aims for a unique niche.
“We are shooting for the best of both worlds: DEMAND has a peer review component as well as a general-interest editor’s touch. We hope that the content is inviting to readers who are involved in the developing world space and also to those who are not but are interested in the topic,” says John Falcioni, DEMAND’s Editorial Director and the editor in chief of Mechanical Engineering Magazine.
This era of ambitious economic aid schemes will be enriched with more engineering know-how. We believe publications like DEMAND are spreading the word.
Rob Goodier is the managing news editor at Engineering for Change (E4C), a global alliance and online platform that promotes appropriate solutions to improve the quality of life in under-served communities.