As 2016 draws to an end, we welcome you to reflect with us on the progress and impact of the SciBridge project on achieving its mission of enabling renewable energy collaborations amongst university scientists and educators in the U.S. and Africa.
This year was an exciting year for us in terms of establishing our U.S. home base at North Carolina State University and developing financial support for experiment kits for the next few years. We also shared the message of SciBridge around the U.S. in the hopes of developing new financial support and general interest in U.S.-Africa science collaborations. The following are particular highlights:
- February – We were awarded a $6,000 NC State East Africa Strategic Initiative grant
- March – NC State volunteers won 2nd place in the Materials Research Society “Sustainability in My Community” competition, and made a great video about the project for YouTube
- March –Ethiopia volunteer Alula Gerezgiher hosted a dye-sensitized solar cell workshop at Agazi Comprehensive Secondary School (our first high school workshop and first Ethiopia workshop) while Uganda volunteer Beth Parks organized the first aluminum-air battery workshop at Mbarara University of Science & Technology.
- June – NC State volunteers began working on new experiment kits on thermoelectrics to demonstrate one method of scavenging ‘waste’ heat into electricity
- June –Volunteer Chris Boggs participated in the 2016 Joint U.S.-Africa Materials Institute (JUAMI) school in Arusha, Tanzania
- August –Volunteer Alex Hsain won the IMPACT Award at the 2016 Appalachian Energy Summit
- October – NC State hosted SciBridge Africa organizer John Paul Eneku for 2 weeks, during which he toured the campus research facilities and met with administrators, faculty, and students
- November – SciBridge was part of a successful NSF proposal which will provide funding for experiment kits for the next 5 years
- December – SciBridge was awarded a second NC State East Africa Strategic Initiative grant. There are now over 12 students volunteering for SciBridge at NC State.
In the coming years, SciBridge will continue to act as a connection and collaboration platform for scientists in the U.S. and Africa. We firmly believe that there is a significant need for sustainable energy development, and that assembling teams of scientists from all regions of the world to work together will be a key component of solving this global challenge. Universities are ideally positioned to train students to work on culturally diverse and interdisciplinary teams and provide them the understanding and hands-on experience to realize – and invent – new, sustainable energy technologies.
Lastly, we would like to thank you all for your time and enthusiasm for the project, whether it is via your role as a current or former volunteer, as an educator, a student who participated in our workshop, or a fan. We wish you all a happy and peaceful 2017. Please continue to follow our progress on our website, Facebook, or twitter. We welcome your feedback and new ideas!
Assistant Professor, NC State University
SciBridge Chair & U.S. Organizer