Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category


The George Washington University – SAPHA and Em[POWER] Energy Group announce Project Bangladesh Health Management Team

The George Washington University – SAPHA and Em[POWER] Energy Group announce Project Bangladesh Health Management Team

Somaiah Ahmed

November 12, 2012

Washington, DC – The George Washington University Chapter of South Asian Public Health Association (GW-SAPHA) has announced their collaboration with Em[POWER] Energy Group on Project Bangladesh.

GW-SAPHA is implementing an ongoing service learning project in Bangladesh in which master’s students from the School of Public Health and Health Services will be able to engage in topics such as sanitation and hygiene, maternal health, and nutrition education.  This collaboration will grant students to strategize a unique plan for training and research on multiple health topics for the Matuail Landfill site in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Matuail Landfill is located in Dhaka, Bangladesh and is considered the largest dump site in the city.  The working and living population that surrounds this location lacks access to clean water, is exposed to poor sanitation, loss of healthcare, and limited educational development.

Currently, em[POWER] is engaged in its Phase III of implementing their goals on site, which include waste management, sorting facility, composting and vocational education.

This upcoming summer, SAPHA is driven to strengthen the partnership with em[POWER] help the Matuail community as well as enrich the learning experience and teach civic responsibility.

More information is expected to be released at the GW-SAPHA General Body Meeting in January 2013.


SAPHA (South Asian Public Health Association) was established in 1999 by 10 individuals in effort to raise awareness about public health issues of South Asians at a national level.  The George Washington University chapter began in 2009.

Our mission is to promote the health & well-being of South Asian communities by advancing the field of South Asian public health through interactions among health professionals & shared resources, focusing on research, education, communication & advocacy in the US.

To learn more about this project, please contact:

Somaiah Ahmed, Vice President


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


Water Purification to Duckweed Biofuel

Water Purification to Duckweed Biofuel

Em[POWER] nonprofit 501c3 is supporting the exploration of new innovations related to Duckweed, identifying new international/national locations for duckweed growth/harvesting, along with working to establish collaborations to expand the project’s potential locally in the US and abroad. In general we are pursuing the developing of the “Water Purification to Energy” strategy for deployment internationally and to be tested locally. Water Purification to Energy is growing duckweed for biofuel. It is a process that makes use of the synergy (interdependence) between a community in need of clean water and distributed sustainable energy, with systems enabling economic growth and environmental improvement. “Water Purification to Energy” is based on the idea of capturing an unused resource that is a byproduct of a critical process, specifically being water treatment. Ideally the energy or resources captured that were previously wasted can be used to improve social and economic situations for communities near waste water ponds, living in impoverished conditions. Access to clean water and a sanitary environment could be enhanced by this process, which would directly improve public health. In the United States, the opportunity resides initially with reducing the sediment in retention ponds, which is a potential cost savings for water treatment centers in regards to dredging and burning the sediment. Additionally the continual removal of duckweed helps purify the waste water. The duckweed itself can feed an ethanol or potentially a biodiesel production system, all as a parasitic process using existing waste water infrastructure for harvesting the duckweed.

For more information: please see project page


em[POWER] Rutgers Chapter sends school supplies to Bangladesh

em[POWER] sends $1000 worth of school supplies to support Matuail Landfill as part of Em[POWER]: Project Bangladesh Phase I initiative. We also tried out our very first “Pen Pal Program”. Please donate to this school that is in dire need. It lost all funding last year and is working to recover through generous donations from you. These kids have two options in life: work in the landfill with no education and no future OR be educated in a school with the help ofDonate using the link to the right and you can designate the donation to go to the school in Matuail Landfill, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.


em[POWER] Partners with Thaakat Foundation to support Project Pakistan

Thaakat Foundation has teamed up with em[POWER] in order to fund em[POWER]’s Project Site: Kachra Kundi inKarachi,Pakistan. Their mission is to promote charitable giving among students and young professionals in the local and national community and beyond to drive a movement of creative altruism, unparalleled giving and preservation of diversity and culture to bring hands on volunteerism to our local communities and hope to our global society. To learn more about the organization:
Please donate on to the organization to help them reach their goal of $5,000 by the end of August 2011:
Please attend their fundraising event as well: 
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