Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
October 23rd, 2015

Technology continues its march around the world.  This post focuses on a major project which has been in the works since 2013 in Thailand, specifically Myanmar.  The budget and scope of this endeavor – the first Solar Plant to be constructed in Thailand – is impressive.  Read about both the plant and the design team that has been engaged to bring this vision to fruition…

Here’s the backgound on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Green Earth Power in 2013 [Note:  the company is privately held and does not have a website of its own; but, they are the driving force behind the new power plant.]

Green Earth Power to develop Myanmar’s first solar plant

“Green Earth Power (Thailand), the developer of the power plant, on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power for the country’s first solar power plant. Total project value is US$275 million (Bt8.15 billion).”

“…present power production was not enough to support industrialisation in Myanmar and solar energy would be the first supplemental source of electricity. Currently, 70 per cent of electricity in Myanmar is from hydropower, 20 per cent from gas turbines, and 10 per cent from coal power plants.”


and the press from this month trumpeting the project’s movement forward

Black & Veatch to provide design services for Myanmar’s first solar plant

Take some time to read the Press Release from Black & Veatch about the project:

Black & Veatch starts work in Myanmar on Southeast Asia’s largest solar power plant

And spend a little time learning about the design company itself – with international locations, might this be a future employer that interests you?

black & veatch logo

Green Earth Power has been a proponent of solar for some time. Here’s another interesting piece about endeavors they are undertaking in Japan (published in 2013) – Rising Sun to power Thai panels

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October 22nd, 2015

Carbon is the building block of a myriad of organic and inorganic matter around us including diamonds.  Carbon nanofibers (built from carbon) hold tremendous potential.  These nanofibers may one day be put to use in tougher bulletproof vests, artificial muscles or rebuilding damaged hearts, just to name a few possibilities.

Researchers from George Washington University led by Stuart Licht, have developed a technique that could pull the mounting carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and transform it into carbon nanofibers, resulting in raw materials for use in anything from sports gear to commercial airliners.

Please click on the picture below to review this process in Professor’s Licht’s presentation:

YouTube Preview Image

This technique to ‘manufacture’ carbon nanofibers provides a win-win since the reduction of carbon in our atmosphere is of penultimate importance for a healthy planet with the added benefit of producing very valuable raw materials.

blog diamonds

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Does the idea of extraterrestrial life interest you?  If so, here’s an opportunity to earn big bucks with design ideas for Mars habitation.  Like they have in the past, the US governmental agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is putting it’s faith in humankind to come up with a viable idea to advance exploration of the planet Mars.

blog martian architects

NASA is looking to uncover some bright ideas about how materials already found on Mars can be put to use by human visitors (Credit: NASA)

It’s purported that each piece of material gleaned from the Red Planet and put to use in building infrastructure will mean less that needs to be ferried some 140 million miles (225 million km) from Earth.  NASA says this could equate to savings of more than US$100,000 per kg (2.2 lb) of cargo on each launch.

NASA has announced the top award at $10,000 to the brightest design idea for building a structure on Mars that uses in situ materials, along with $2,500 for two second-place submissions.  The designs could consist of surface materials like rocks or soil, or even draw on the planet’s water supply.

NASA is taking submissions until December 3, with winners to be announced in late January 2016.  So let your knowledge and imagination have free reign and, who knows, you could walk away with the top prize!

Click on the red planet for more detail about the challenge.

blog red planet

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So many of us are actively working on world class solutions to the challenges we face everyday.

Well, for those who are making great strides to improve and minimize our impact on our environment, this challenge is very timely.

Unilever has partnered with the University of Cambridge to sponsor the Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Challenge

The goal is to find innovative and scaleable technologies or initiatives that are contributing to one or more of the eight Global Goals  they’ve identified as most relevant to business and entrepreneurs.

Join the conversation, or better yet, submit your ideas.  Here is the timeline for the sustainable challenge2

And if you’re not quite sure how your research would fit into the challenge requirements, there is a wealth of information on their website, such as blogs of other entrepreneurs highlighting their great work and global goals descriptions.

Click on the picture to get all of the detail needed to get involved!

blog sustainable challenge3


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Innovation is all around us.  And, the race is on globally to become the next city or country or continent that boasts the most advanced technology and become home to companies churning out that technology.  The Renaissance brought changes in a myriad of disciplines.  The Industrial Revolution did the same.

Now the changes are less ‘visible’ or ‘tangible’ and more “Cloud-y” – if you’ll pardon the pun!

Chattanooga’s hyper-fast connectivity has become

“a platform for innovation.”


Read the article and watch the video to learn about how


With Gigabit Connectivity,


Chattanooga Could Be


the Next Tech Hub


Chattanooga flag


Maybe a ride on the Chattanooga Choo-Choo will be part of your career path?!

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