GEI- Global Engineering Innovation

Global Engineering Innovation

“Global engineering innovations was the best thing that happened to me as an undergraduate. They sponsored my trip to Tanzania in the summer of 2012 and to development conferences at Harvard and MIT in 2013.”  ~ Tobe Madu, Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2013

Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology obtained university funding to annually support three engineering mission teams composed of two to four students at a variety of international host sites for up to three years. teams will have two mentors: one from the Johns Hopkins faculty and one from the host site. Together, they will develop budgets, time lines 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.

An information session on the Global Engineering Innovation program will be held soon.

Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology has funding for two to four additional students to join a team working on a grain mill project in Arusha, Tanzania. The team is mentored by Dr. Elisseeff and a staff from the host site. This summer, the team will be travelling to Tanzania to test a prototype that is currently being developed to optimize the quality of flour produced by an Estrella grain mill. We are partnering with Global Cycle Solutions, a for-profit social enterprise started by MIT alum Jodie Wu, which builds and distributes affordable and income-generating technologies in Tanzania.

To be eligible to apply, undergraduate and graduate students should be science or engineering majors (other majors will be considered if a fit is evident based on application material). Students may apply in groups but each member must submit all application material. We will attempt to keep the group together but the final decision will be made by the coordination committee (we will add or remove members if we feel a better team composition can be made).

To apply for this unique opportunity, send the following items to Ashanti Edwards 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 Tobe Madu at, for more information on the application process.

Reports from previous projects:

Cassava Mill Project – Brazil (2013).

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