GEI- Global Engineering Innovation

“As a part of GEI, I was able to collaborate with the staff of the Indonesian non-profit, Kopernik – some of the coolest, most passionate people I have ever met. The interactions I had with the warm and friendly locals felt truly genuine, and the work we carried out was the most fulfilling I have ever accomplished in my life” – Sakina Girnary, Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2015

CIMG1403-webJohns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology obtained university funding to annually support two engineering mission teams composed of two to four students at a variety of international host sites. Teams will have two mentors: one from the Johns Hopkins faculty and one from the host site. Together, they will develop budgets, timelines and project plans to address a problem identified at a host location. Once teams, mentors and challenges are defined, the team or team leader will travel to site to further evaluate the challenge and design constraints. Returning to Baltimore, the teams will meet to further research the challenge and brainstorm potential solutions. The Global Engineering Innovation program gives Johns Hopkins’ graduate students and select undergraduates an opportunity to investigate and tackle engineering challenges in the developing world. The JHU School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) will be consulted so that students will be aware of the social and political atmosphere that may impact utilization and potential distribution of the engineering solutions.

 Engineering Missions for Graduate Student Education and Local Innovation

Applications are now being accepted for Global Engineering Innovation projects designed to give Johns Hopkins’ graduate students and select undergraduates an opportunity to investigate and tackle engineering challenges in the developing world. Undergraduate and graduate opportunities are available.

Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology has funding for five additional students to join a team working on a Fish Dryer and Rice Harvesting machine for Rural East Java, Indonesia. The team is mentored by Dr. Elisseeff and partnering with Kopernik, a non-profit that balances a philanthropic and business approach to distributing technology in last-mile communities around the world. The team will have to build prototypes to be tested at the end of this summer in Indonesia.

DSCF9434-webTo be eligible to apply, undergraduate and graduate students should be public health or engineering majors (other majors will be considered if a fit is evident based on application material). Students available this summer are particularly encouraged to apply.

To apply for this unique opportunity, submit this application to Camille Mathis at

  •  Your resume including any outreach/design experience (domestic or international) and any foreign language capability (especially Swahili)
  • A brief (300 words max.) statement of your interest in Global Engineering Innovation
  • The name and contact information of at least one referee, preferably your faculty research advisor (or academic advisor for undergraduate students)

After the new team is defined, they will immediately start contributing in the development of the prototype to be tested this summer. If the test is successful, potential avenues of translation will be investigated with advisory board members with relevant experience.

If you have additional questions, please contact Makesi Paul, Yunuscan Sevimli or Sakina Girnary, for more information on the application process.

Reports from previous projects:

East Java Agricultural Exploratory Trip – Bojonegoro (2014)

Cassava Mill Project – Brazil (2013).

Pedal-powered Grain Mill Project – Tanzania (2012).