Stony Brook College of Business Innovation Center News
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Plinio Guzman, Engineering graduate student and entrepreneur this spring tested Membrane Distillation. Environmental energy from the desert drive the desalination process of water in short supply. Plinio spent three months in the Terkanian Basin in Kenya on a field site for research to test the water cleaning technology. The plan is to bring the technology to market in high need environments. He describes the trip and photos in the Africa Album

Crazy times in East Africa. I rode on a lorry from where I'm working in Ileret in the northern part of Kenya, through the desert, to Nairobi. It was 4 days of driving through incredible scenery that took me from the bone dry deserts of Turkana (giving water to the occasional nomad) to the lush and fertile grounds around the base of Mt. Kenya. We crossed a salt plane created by a dried up lake, which ended in an oasis where baboons hang out. Incredible experience. Here are some pictures of the drive.

I had some meetings in Nairobi then headed down to the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania where I decompressed and began to write up the project, under cooler weather. I then realized that I had just crossed Kenya by land from north to south in a week, an experience not many get to do. We stayed in a farm drinking homegrown coffee, with homegrown milk, eggs, avocados, bananas, guavas. Would definitely recommend it. I took a 9 hour bus (I had to be quick and aggressive to not get swindled on a 25% commission the agent was trying to make off us for the ticket) and made it to Dar Es Salam last night. I will take a ferry to Zanzibar today and stay there for a week, finishing the project report and hopefully doing some diving.

Next month the (tentative) plan is to go to Germany to visit a company that manufactures equipment we need for the project, design a large scale desalination unit for TBI, then head back to Kenya to set it up.

This has truly been a unique and enlightening experience. I want to keep doing this and combine entrepreneurship, traveling and engineering. Working on technology while actually experiencing where the problem exists is giving me a concrete view on how a systems thinking approach is needed to promote change.

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