Newsletter: November, 2007


      EngineerAid Newsletter: November, 2007
Email:; Web: Tel: +44 (0)131 455 6812

Dear Engineers, Supporters and Friends,

Features this month below, more news and updates at

Christmas E-card Campaign
Our Christmas E-cards are live and on the website free to use (but donations welcome), companies can replace their paper cards, reducing their environmental impact and supporting EngineerAid. See

More on reducing your carbon footprint
A new online tool that will help construction companies plan so-called "carbon-wise" projects and reduce their carbon footprint has been launched by the Environment Agency. Also, a video on has a go at explaining why it is a good idea to swap carbon-heavy real world flying for Second Life meet-ups. See

Named and shamed
For the first time, the CO2 emissions of 50,000 power plants worldwide have been compiled into a massive new database. The on-line database lays out exactly where the CO2 emitters are and how much of the greenhouse gas they are casting into the atmosphere. It also shows which companies own the plants. More here

Sustainability and EngineerAid
The UN Environment Programme has launched a panel that will advise governments on the sustainable use of natural resources and a report tells us China, India and others, should adopt sustainable energy policies to control emissions and save energy
At EngineerAid, we have been working with Craig Burry, Sustainability Projects Manager to develop guidelines for engineers and other stakeholders and establish EngineerAid as an ethical and sustainable charity. Our solutions have a long-term impact and our work with Craig will help us ensure that our projects are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Many thanks to Craig! If you have any ideas or suggestions or want to be involved, emails to

Dew-harvesting 'web' conjures water out of thin air
An award winning way of collecting morning dew could give people in arid regions better access to safe drinking water. This is a problem for about 1 billion people worldwide. See

News from the Team: Volunteer of the Month, Lalit Kumar, IT Developer
Congratulations to Lalit - our volunteer of the month for November. Lalit joined EngineerAid very recently, and was been unanimously voted the Volunteer of the Month! He has been responsible for developing the E-cards (See and is now working on the automation system. Details here

EngineerAid Stalls, Edinburgh
Our stalls in Edinburgh have been well-received - an excellent response with people signing up and supporting EngineerAid and our work for international development. More stalls for raising awareness are planned, see Do pop over and say hello!

On Collaboration: How Do We Communicate with Thee?
This article discusses 3 primary kinds of communication tools - voice, text, and video. Authors conclude: telephone technology is a common and familiar collaborative tool; text is widely used for its "forethought" feature and for a possible "simultaneous" connection with a widespread work group or set of groups, and now, with wireless and cellphone technology, for its portability; and video is still less accepted, but facing growth possibilities. More here

On Communication: Africa turns to mobile phones
Whether it's South African students using mobile phones to do homework or Tanzanian fishermen dialing in for weather reports, Africans are increasingly turning to cell phones to spur economic development. See Interesting article by Ethan Zuckerman, which traces trends in the use of the mobile phone around the world as an activist technology, "the anonymity of mobile phones is one of the key reasons they've been so useful to activists". More here

Case Study: Sustainable Management and Use of Water from Sand Rivers, Kenya
The Loisukut community, an indigenous Maasai community in Laikipia-Kenya required assistance to construct a sand water dam from a seasonal river. We got in touch with over 50 engineers, and were able to send manuals, online resources, and recommendations.
Read more here

Current Project: Non-electronic Oxygen Concentration Device
Engineers are often faced with oxygen concentrators of unknown quality. This device should allow the engineer to quickly determine if the device is producing concentrated oxygen (perhaps greater than 80% or 90%). An ideal device would allow a crude (within 20%) estimate of the oxygen concentration. The designer can assume access to elements often found in hospitals (CO2 absorbing material, matches etc). Relevant additional specifications If reusable Cost: <$5 in quantities of 1 If disposable Cost: < $1 in quantities of 1. If you have experience in these areas, please get in touch. Emails to

Best Regards,

16th Nov 2007