Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

Greetings! I’m Ted, and I’ll be one of your guides for the next two semesters as my team and I strive to build the ultimate compost solution for the home gardener.

First, an introduction to our program at North Carolina State University. All four of us are seniors in the Electrical Engineering program, specializing in the fairly new Renewable Electric Energy Systems concentration.

From the Electrical Engineering department’s website:

The new concentration evolved to address the need to create a national power system capable of integrating geographically distributed renewable energy and advanced storage systems that will interface with the existing electric utility systems to serve the country’s future electric energy demands.

We’re fortunate that NC State’s Centennial Campus has been blessed with a myriad of resources, from the National Science Foundation- funded FREEDM Center to on-campus businesses who are also contributing to research, with companies cutting-edge companies such as ABB, Inc; Advanced Energy Corporation; Sungard; and WISERsystems, Inc just down the road and sharing funding, research, and even talent with the University.


Of course, any post about technology and North Carolina State University would be severely lacking without at least a little bit of bragging about our new library as well.



Opened in January of 2013, the James B. Hunt Library has already several awards for sustainability and design innovation. As engineering students, it’s become more than just a place to do homework and study for exams; with over 100 study rooms open to reservation and numerous specialized computer tools and resources, it’s become almost a home away from home for all of us.

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February 26th, 2014

Hello IBM, thank you so much for accepting us into the Students for a Smarter Planet Program! Our team is very excited to join all of the other incredible teams on this website.

My name is Josh, and I am the financial team leader for Apparatus X, an adaptable tool trailer capable of expanding into a workspace, creating a mobile construction site that could be relocated to the site of a natural disaster. Our team is composed of about twenty Architecture and Engineering students at The Pennsylvania State University. We hope to complete the project by the end of this semester, after which it will travel to the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans. Once it arrives, it must expand into a full workspace, storing a wide variety of tools. The trailer will act as a community workspace, facilitating the engagement and education necessary to rebuild a damaged area. The trailer will also be entirely self-sustainable, generating its own power with an array of solar panels on its roof, and using a rainwater collection and purification system to sustainably and efficiently provide water. This system also serves a didactic purpose, demonstrating the possibility to live a green lifestyle. Finally, the trailer must also serve as a micro-living unit, supporting a single resident. The image below shows Apparatus X after it has fully deployed, exhibiting its expandability and multiple work areas.



Apparatus X is divided into three equal sections, displayed in the image below. The first section is the live space, which will contain a kitchen, bathroom, and bed for the resident of the vehicle. The next section is the flex and design space, which will provide a social area for collaborative design. The final area is a work area that provides work surfaces as well as storage space for tools.



Thank you again for accepting us into your program! We are very excited to post updates on our progress, and learn about the projects that all of the other teams are working on!

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February 11th, 2014

Hello there! Coming up a bit late but now we’re rolling! We are designing a more efficient and economical power conservation solution.
If you were asked about the major power problems faced by consumers in a good number of developing countries like Nigeria, you would mention several things including the problem of inadequate power, with the consumption of the available portion being grossly mismanaged.
“Why then spend so much on electricity when the power consumption management can be made smarter?”
We are unraveling the mystery behind a smarter power ecosystem by designing a smart power monitor. It intends to leverage an android based application that interfaces with an intelligent electrical power consumption monitor over an ad hoc wireless network. The monitor manages all power outlets, isolates unusual power consumption and performs real time switching of electrical appliances. The monitor has the capability of intelligently determining which devices require power based on preferences and expected lack of utilization (Wendy mentioned this too!).
So far, we have developed a scheme for monitoring every power outlet using a low power microcontroller circuit. The data acquired is transmitted over wireless network through a gateway to the android device for monitoring and observation.
Right now, we are focused on the circuit design, microprocessor programming and Andriod application development.
Subsequently, we would provide updates on the progress made as we keep speculating, studying, designing and creating. Be sure to keep tabs on us.

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October 18th, 2013

Big Data Use Cases, Erman Akdogan

Big Data Use Cases

Big data is the term for a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. It has been the buzzword of the last couple years, and many businesses today want to “Get Started with Big Data”.

When I start discussing with clients what they want to do with big data, more often than not I get puzzled looks. It is important to have the preparedness to “get started with big data” by having:

  • Pinpointed a line of business in the company to get started with the use cases
  • Identified use cases that serves a true business needs within that line of business
  • Verified that there’s indeed large amounts of meaningful data available to support the use cases

Above is the snapshot of the mindmap showing some sample use cases. You can download the original mindmap from the links at the original post.



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This is an interesting analysis on adoption of smarter planet solutions by various industries. It leverages a mindmap to organize the challenges and advantages for industries in embracing the smarter systems.

Here’s the snapshot of the mindmap from the link:

Smarter Planet Solutions Adoption Analysis by Industry

Smarter Planet Solutions Adoption Analysis by Industry


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