Archive for the ‘News’ Category


em[POWER] Travels to Bangladesh

Exec. Director of em[POWER] Nasir Uddin recently completed a very successful trip to Bangladesh to review landfill site projects and held meetings with several current and potential partners. Here are a few of the highlights of his trip:

–  Researcher orientation sessions within the Landfill

– Presentations on health safety and hazards as well occupation safety hazard training

– Participatory dialogues with the 250 waste pickers of the landfill and 50 owners and 100 waste pickers of waste collection vans

– Presentation of a laptop to students of the landfill school for purposes of working together via the Internet.

– Provided Gram Bangla with financial support for the school for 6 months provided by em[POWER] Rutgers Chapter


Children of Gram Bangla school

Another six months of education for the children of Matuail Landfill families has been donated by em[POWER]’s Rutgers Student Chapter. Many thanks, students!


Training for Women Trashpickers

Women’s em[POWER] training group learning work and health safety techniques in a landfill setting                                                  

Exec Dir Nasir Uddon presenting certificate to Gram Bangla Unnayan Comittee

Mr. Uddin (pictured right) presenting an em[POWER] certificate of appreciation to Gram Bangla Committee members.






CIM Students Participate in Interlocking Earth Block Construction Project

Several students from the NJIT CIM program had an opportunity to travel to High Hill, Missouri to participate in the construction of an interlocking compressed earth block “CEB” home. The interlocking system of CEB compressed earth bricks allows for easy Lego-style stacking without the need for mortar. The plan was formulated by Naveed Syed, entrepreneur in sustainable technologies, who reached out to NJIT’s CIM program for assistance in his CEB research. With the help of CIM Patron, Sika Corporation, Syed was able to perform preliminary testing on his CEB system.

Syed also reached out to Renewing Roots Co., headed by David Cackowski. Renewing Roots specializes in sustainable techniques and methods to ensure the least impact on the environment while aiming to produce efficient and low-cost homes for veterans, homeless people, military families, and communities overseas. Both companies have provided an opportunity for Syed and students to be involved in their CEB research and development and also offered the team the opportunity to begin construction of the first Renewing Roots CEB home.

On Tuesday August 14th, Syed and students  traveled to the CEB manufacturing facility in St. Louis where they were briefed on the properties, advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of the material. The students had a chance to build a 160 square foot curing room with CEB. They participated in all the building stages including anchoring steel rebar reinforcement to the foundation, laying a mortar bed, and stacking the blocks. The students broke ground and began the layout of CEB at the actual site where the home will be erected. The students plan to use their experience  to brainstorm innovative ways for streamlining production and develop differing applications of compressed earth blocks for various countries and situations around the world.

What is CEB?   CEB differs from ordinary masonry block in the method it is manufactured and its ingredients. Typical masonry block is made from sand, cement, and water while CEB is made with sand, cement, water and the natural soil found in the vicinity of the construction site.

A major benefit of CEB is that it uses up to seventy-five percent less cement than traditional concrete blocks.  Cement is the most expensive and non-environmentally friendly ingredient in concrete. In addition, CEB earth blocks are compressed together in a manual or hydraulic machine and are able to be handled immediately, as opposed to ordinary concrete which is poured into a form requiring  at least one day to cure before being transported.

Photos of CEB wall system construction:

To learn more about CEB please visit:
To learn more about Renewing Roots initiatives visit:

The following personnel were involved in the CEB project:
David Cackowski: President, Renewing Roots
Jeff Schneider: VP, Renewing Roots
Naveed Syed, CEB System R&D Visionary
Zeghan Malik: Architect
Anlee Orama: CIM Program Specialist
CIM Students: Fabian DeLaHOz, Majile McCray, Gagan Singh, Tyler Hanson


Announcing New Trade Association

07/25/12  Em[POWER] Energy Group is pleased to announce the formation of the first trade association in the world dedicated to large-scale production of the aquatic plant Lemnoideae, more commonly known as duckweed. The group, International Lemna Association, (ILA) seeks to bring duckweed and other aquatic species to the limelight of sustainable crops that out-produce terrestrial crops for protein and starches, while remediating water sources that are unfit for land crop use, such as municipal and industrial wastewater.

Tamra Fakhoorian, co-founder of the ILA said,”We wish to thank em[POWER] for their support in our organization’s formation. Em[POWER] recognizes duckweed’s untapped potential as a high quality protein and starch source for animal feed, bioplastics, fertilizers, and wastewater remediation. Duckweed is a win/win for our global efforts of sustainable aqua-cropping and animal production.”

Ryan Integlia, co-founder of ILA observed, “Many of our members previously worked in the algae arena and when confronted with ongoing issues of harvesting and robustness, discovered the many benefits of duckweed as an alternative. Farmers in several developing countries already grow and harvest duckweed as a part of their integrated farming systems. The time is right for duckweed production to be expanded on a larger scale to remediate the massive nutrient loads in our current waste water systems and produce value-added products for a wide range of applications.”

Duckweed and Wolffia species are the smallest vascular, flowering plants on the planet and are found world-wide with the exception of Antarctica. They are known to double their mass every 24-48 hours, producing up to 60 dry tons per acre in optimal circumstances. Wolffia holds the record for the smallest flowers in the world, only 0.3mm in length.

For more information, visit .


Urban Sketches – Mazahir

In 2009, Dawn News did a focus on Mr. Mohammad Mazahir, president of Idara Al-Khair welfare society, and his work in educating the children of a waste scavenging community in Karachi, Pakistan. You can see a glimpse of the living conditions in these communities, and learn of the amazing work being done by this amazing man.

Urban Sketches – Mazahir (1/2)

Urban Sketches – Mazahir (2/2)

The Idara Al-Kahir website


em[POWER] at the SustaiNext Conference

Today, two members of em[POWER], Henry Chao and Nasir Uddin, attended the SustaiNext Summit at Drexel University.

“The goal of this Summit is to exchange important research, the latest thinking, ideas, and comment on how to create sustainable communities and a global society.

The speakers, presenters, and panelists at the Summit have been carefully selected to help all to better understand the factors that are impacting how to improve America’s educational, economic and societal systems for delivering on the America promise in this the 21st century.

This Summit meeting is designed to be a stimulating, interactive, productive, and an enjoyable experience for all to truly explore how we learn, teach, work and live, to deliver on a sustainable future.

The Sustainability Collaborative is the meeting place of people, ideas and concepts that may help to shape the important topics pertaining to universal sustainability.

The goal of the Collaborative is to bring forth topics, ideas and concepts that may help to shape the important topics of universal sustainability. The Collaborative began its formative programs thorough Secretary of Education Arne Duncan 2010 sponsorship of the Sustainability Education summit.  The Collaborative will continue its SustaiNext, a 2-year process, at Drexel on March 22 and 23, 2011. This process will continue to the West coast in the fall of 2011 at Arizona State University, followed by an EU-based 2011 summit at Dublin City University, Ireland. The Collaborative will convene a global meeting in Washington D.C. in the first quarter 2012.”

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