SMU to host regional U.N. conference on Texas climate extremes Sept. 17, 2015

Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity

SMU to host regional U.N. conference on Texas climate extremes Sept. 17, 2015

Stock photo of drought-stricken landscapeTexas is a place of legendary weather extremes. Droughts, floods, extreme heat and bitter cold are a fact of life for its residents. How will people adapt to these climate issues and their impact on water supply, infrastructure, public resources and vulnerable populations?

SMU will host a major conference on climate extremes in Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area that will focus on impacts, solutions and collaborative strategies the public and private sectors can use to prepare for such issues – and what individuals can do to help address the underlying issues.

The University’s Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, along with sponsors and community partners, will present the half-day program — an official conference of COP21 Paris, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change scheduled for December 2015. The SMU event is part of a series of preliminary sessions called “FACTS: French Ameri-Can Climate TalkS,” which are being organized by the Embassies of France in both Canada and the United States.

> Find a complete schedule at the conference website: climateextremes.com

The conference focus is purposely inclusive of both the global and local scenes related to climate extremes. The Consul General of France in Houston, Sujiro Seam, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will open the conference. Climate extremes experts will deliver brief talks in two panel discussions moderated by Dallas journalist Lee Cullum.

A featured panelist is Bruce McCarl, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, who was part of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Lunch will include the introduction of a new research paper by Hunt Institute Director Eva Csaky on the topic of climate extremes, “The Inclusive Economy;” brief remarks by Trammell S. Crow, founder of Earth Day Texas; and keynote speaker Patrick Caron, director general in charge of research and strategy at CIRAD, a French agricultural research and international cooperation organization.

Watch the SMU Climate Extremes Conference live smu.edu/live beginning at 8:45 a.m. Central time Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. The conference video will be archived after its conclusion.

September 16, 2015|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News|

Living Village is showpiece of 2012 Engineering and Humanity Week

Living Village at SMUThe Living Village is back for its second year at SMU, serving as an interactive display and teaching tool for 2012 Engineering & Humanity Week. Through Friday, April 20, students will live, cook and sleep in temporary shelters designed for international refugees and rapidly expanding urban populations.

Students, faculty and members of the North Texas community began building the village on the lawn just west of the Engineering Quad on Wednesday, April 11, preparing to showcase a variety of shelter technologies with applications for people displaced by war and natural disasters, as well as impoverished urban dwellers in the developing world. The village’s temporary residents – student volunteers from disciplines all over campus – will be without electricity and running water in the shelters, as is frequently the case for refugee populations.

Many of this year’s shelters are designed for longer-term habitation than last year’s, and two are student projects. Harvey Lacey is back with his popular recycled plastic Ubuntu Blox House, fresh from exhaustive earthquake testing that proved his house to be a potential fit for quake-prone places like Haiti. And bcWORKSHOP’s Brent Brown has brought his Rapido Prototype, the largest structure in the village, developed as part of the state of Texas’ Natural Disaster Housing Reconstruction Plan. During Engineering & Humanity Week, bcWORKSHOP designers will seek feedback from SMU students and visitors to help them improve the project’s design, construction process, deployment method and performance.

Read more about the innovative structures that will make up the Living Village. The public is welcome to tour the village and speak with student participants, who also will be blogging their experiences.

The Living Village also will host a special event at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, designed to spotlight approaches to preserve culture among populations that are housed long-term in refugee camps.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Learn more about the Living Village and the week’s events from SMU News
> Follow the Living Village students at their SMU Adventures blog
> Visit the Engineering & Humanity Week website

April 17, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

Segway inventor to be honored during Engineering & Humanity Week 2011

Dean KamenSMU’s Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity will present its inaugural Visionary Award to Dean Kamen, the humanitarian inventor behind the Segway human transporter and other technological breakthroughs, including devices helping those in the developing world.

Kamen will be honored at a dinner on Wednesday, April 13, during the University’s 2011 Engineering & Humanity Week – a series of events focused on free-market solutions for those living in extreme poverty. Speakers, panels, films and exhibits from around the globe as well as experiential learning opportunities will take place on campus under the theme, “Redefining What’s Possible.”

“We are honoring Dean Kamen for his success, his vision and his support in training a new generation of engineers who are committed to meeting the challenges of the developing world,” said Hunter L. Hunt, who with his wife, Stephanie, founded the Hunt Institute to help find solutions to the most pressing problems of the impoverished.

Currently, Kamen is working to perfect a nonpolluting, low-power water-purifying system, as well as solar-powered devices designed for use in underdeveloped countries. The inventor holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents, many for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide.

> Read more from SMU News
> Visit the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity online

April 12, 2011|Calendar Highlights, News|
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