Global Clinic

Global Clinic prepares students for the future challenges of practicing engineering, science and mathematics in a global context. This program supports the activities associated with undertaking several yearlong, industry-sponsored global engineering and science projects in which teams of Harvey Mudd students collaborate with teams of students from international partner schools with particular emphasis on partnerships in Singapore, China, India, Japan and Israel, with future plans to expand into South America and Europe. Global Clinic was established in 2005 by John Vickery ’91 through a generous endowment from his parents, the late Robert and Joan Vickery.


Increasing Arctic Ice Reflectivity through Hollow Glass Microsphere Deployment

Sponsor: Arctic Ice Project

Project Abstract: Arctic Ice Project is a nonprofit organization seeking to preserve and restore Arctic ice through safe and effective albedo modification techniques. The project goal is to determine how hollow glass microspheres (HGMs) respond when exposed to harsh Arctic conditions. The team will test the material properties of various HGMs, including solubility, crush strength, and resistance to abrasion or freeze-thaw cycling. Results from these studies will help determine whether localized HGM deployment can be considered a low-risk means of climate intervention.


Arctic Ice Project Deployment Method Investigation

Sponsor: Arctic Ice Project (also Social Justice project)

Project Abstract: Arctic Ice Project is a nonprofit seeking to preserve and restore the Arctic through safe and effective albedo modification techniques. The team has developed a particle simulation model to assess the viability of a ship-based blower-driven deployment of albedo modifying hollow glass microspheres (HGMs) utilizing natural weather patterns for distribution. Additionally, the team compiled information on the material properties of HGMs to determine ideal transportation methods.

Efficient Algorithms for Fairer Finance

Sponsor: Greensill Capital

Project Abstract: Greensill is a London-based firm that is a market leader in providing working capital finance. A central technical challenge across a large portfolio of assets, such as a pool of receivables that Greensill manages, is risk estimation. Over the course of the year, our clinic team investigated and developed more time-efficient, risk-estimation algorithms. We ran Monte Carlo simulations in order to create risk metrics, explored underlying financial assumptions, and allowed for greater optimization of different portfolios.

Data-Driven Anomaly Detection for Rural Solar-PV Systems

Sponsor: Mee Panyar (also Social Justice project)

Project Abstract: Mee Panyar is a start-up social enterprise in Myanmar that is pioneering community-based management models for operating and maintaining rural solar mini-grids. Modern mini-grid installations include a suite of sensors that may be monitored in real-time. However, rural technicians rarely oversee such monitoring, increasing the chance of system failure. The HMC Clinic Team has designed a suite of statistical and machine learning models that will be used to identify anomalous behavior and flag components for maintenance operations.


Continuous Improvement for Manufacturing

Sponsor: Clover Wireless.
Academic Partner: CETYS.

Project Abstract: Clover Wireless is a global supply chain solutions partner for mobile device carriers, manufacturers, retailers, insurance providers and enterprise businesses. In collaboration with Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior (CETYS) University, the HMC team supported the launch of four, new refurbishment lines of NETGEAR products in their Mexicali manufacturing facility. To provide a low-cost and low-impact method of implementing potential changes to these lines, the HMC Global Clinic team created a continuous improvement tool that minimizes a production line’s operating cost.


Reducing Energy Consumption in Wet Dry Cycles

Sponsor: Arvind Ltd.
Academic Partner: Ahmedabad University.

Project Abstract: Arvind Ltd. is a $1 billion revenue Indian textile manufacturing company. The Harvey Mudd College Global Clinic team is working to increase the energy efficiency of Arvind’s textile drying process. In the fall semester, the team recommended changes to the current drying process that will help Arvind recover 10 percent of the energy usually lost during drying. In the spring, the team modeled and prototyped novel, low-energy ways to dry fabric at an industrial level.


Green Infrastructure Solutions for Urban Flooding in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

Sponsor: Kounkuey Design Initiative & Harvey Mudd College.

Project Abstract: Kibera is a large informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya where annual flash flooding causes significant health, economic, and structural problems in the community. Current drainage infrastructure consists of informal channels that are not designed to handle the volume of water that falls during large rain events. The objective of this project is to work with the community to develop practical design improvements for the existing drainage channels that can be implemented in Kibera, to improve quality of life for residents.


High Throughput Laser Diode Burn-in Systems

Sponsor: Kaiam Corporation.

Project Abstract:  Kaiam Corp. is an industry leader in the field of optical communications for data centers, and rising demand has stretched its manufacturing capability. One manufacturing bottleneck is the diode burn-in process, which tests the micron scale laser diodes at high power and temperature. The Kaiam clinic project is to design a new burn-in system using micromechanical chips to make contact with the diodes and test them more quickly.


Low-Cost, Monitoring of Remote Rainwater Catchment Tanks

Sponsor: RainCatcher, Inc. & Harvey Mudd College.

Project Abstract: The 2015-2016 Harvey Mudd Global Clinic team is sponsored by RainCatcher a non-profit organization working to combat the global issue of clean water access. RainCatcher has installed rainwater catchment systems in regions of Kenya, Uganda, and the Navajo Nation. The HMC Clinic team is designing and building a device, which will communicate details about each tank to RainCatcher. This device will allow RainCatcher to collect quantitative data on their impact and improve the reliability of their systems.


Creating a Low-Cost Turbidity-Sensitive Solution for Solar Disinfection of Drinking Water

Sponsor: PotaVida & Harvey Mudd College.

Project Abstract:  The PotaVida, Inc. Global Clinic team was tasked with designing a low-cost, point-of-use technical solution that determines the time required to perform solar disinfection on a volume of water as a function of turbidity and UV intensity. This solution can be used to unambiguously indicate whether the water is too turbid for disinfection and, if not, the length of time needed for disinfection.  The team’s solution is globally informed through field-testing in Uganda.


Computer Vision for Parallel JavaScript

Sponsor: Intel Corporation.
Academic Partner: National University of Singapore.

Project Abstract:  Intel Labs’ Parallel JavaScript is a data-parallel programming model that allows JavaScript programs to use hardware parallelism such as multiple cores, vector instructions, and GPU’s, which have previously been inaccessible to Web applications.  In order to demonstrate the advantages of Parallel JavaScript, we have used it to create a fast, reusable, open-source computer vision library.  We then used this library to build a real-time interactive hand gesture detection application.


Decontamination of Radioactive Isotopes from Skin

Sponsor: Oregon Biomedical Engineering Institute.
Academic Partner: Kogakuin University, Japan.

Project Abstract:  As the use of nuclear technology continues to advance and expand around the world, the risk of accidental exposure to radioactive isotopes grows for civilian and military workers alike.  The goal of this project was to create a portable device to quickly and effectively decontaminate skin that has been exposed to ionizing radiation.  Working jointly with Kogakuin University in Tokyo, the team designed several prototypes and developed a method for evaluating their effectiveness in removing contaminants from skin.

Semi-Automated C++ Code

Sponsor: Intel Corporation.
Academic Partner: Technion University, Israel.

Project Abstract:  Intel Corp. designs specialized hardware modules to repeatedly execute data processing algorithms.  These algorithms are initially written and tested in C++.  Experts then develop descriptions of hardware modules using SystemC (a C++ library for describing and simulating hardware) using the algorithms as reference.  The transformation from general C++ to SystemC is slow and repetitive, so we designed a tool that automates parts of the process.


Non-Intrusive Monitoring System for Isolated Elderly Individuals in Japan

Sponsor: Broadcom.
Academic Partner: Kogakuin University, Japan.

Project Abstract: Japan has an increasing proportion of isolated elderly individuals, a situation likely to continue into the future. The goal of this joint project with Kogakuin University in Tokyo is to design, build and test a monitoring system to report their physical state to family and friends. Our ultimate goal is to give the elderly a greater sense of security, integrate the monitoring system seamlessly into their lives, and communicate their condition to others who care about them.


Economical Solar Thermal Storage System for Rural Communities of India

Sponsor: Harvey Mudd College.
Academic Partner: Birla Institute, India

Project Abstract:  Undergraduate students from Harvey Mudd College and Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi worked together to find an energy storage solution for rural communities in Jharkhand, India that do not have access to a centralized power grid. The team’s final design collects low-grade heat form the sun for diurnal and seasonal use, and powers simple everyday applications like lighting or cooking. The HMC students designed the seasonal component of the system, which stores thermal energy in a large volume of soil underground.

Novel Technologies for Protein Separations

Sponsor: BioRad.
Academic Partner: National University of Singapore.

Project Abstract: The Bio-Rad Global Clinic team is investigating isoelectric point-based protein separations using solid-state buffers (SSB). This process has applications in disease diagnosis and cancer research, so we aim to separate proteins from samples including E. Coli, plasma and cancer cells. The team seeks to develop optimized protocols for the use of SSB, and to design, build and test a prototype device that is compatible with the SSB, with the eventual goal of producing a marketable laboratory instrument.

Micro Vegetable Processor and Packager for Poor Rural Vegetable and Fruit Farmers in Developing Countries

Sponsors: Operation Hope & Harvey Mudd College.
Academic Partners: National University of Singapore.

Project Abstract: The team has designed a portable vegetable processor and packager to be used in rural Cambodia by small-scale farmers. The purpose of this project is to give vegetable farmers the ability to generate additional income by making ready-to-eat food pouches with a minimum shelf life of six months. This will eliminate their need to sell their vegetables within a wee after harvesting and provide an alternative to selling just raw produce. The processor design utilizes a retort to sterilize food that is packaged into heat-sealed pouches. This project is also funded by the Beckman Coulter Foundation, a charitable organization associated with Beckman Coulter, Incorporated.


Waste Heat Reclamation Via a Small-Scale Organic Rankine Cycle

Sponsor: Harvey Mudd College.
Academic Partner: University of Iceland.

Project Abstract: The team designed a small-scale Organic Rankine Cycle to generate usable electricity from waste heat sources. A novel heat transfer fluid Novec, was used as the working fluid to eliminate the negative environmental effects resulting from traditional refrigerants. Capturing waste heat for energy has the potential to increase the efficiency of existing power generation systems.

Development of a Low-Cost Rapidly Deployable System for Monitoring Volcanoes

Sponsor: Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS)
Academic Partner: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Project Abstract: In conjunction with the Earth Observatory of Singapore, the Global Clinic team designed a low-cost, rapidly deployable volcano monitoring system to be used on volcanoes in the Sumatra region of Indonesia. The system consists of a network of sensing nodes, which use radio telemetry to transmit data to a base station capable of relaying it to researchers. The network monitors gas concentration, crater deformation, and seismic activity.

Wastewater Treatment in Rural China

Sponsor: Lien Institute for the Environment.
Academic Partner: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Project Abstract: The Lien Institute for the environment (LIFE) works in individual communities within developing countries to produce appropriate and life saving water, sanitation, and shelter technologies. A team of students from Nanyang Technological University and Harvey Mudd College Global Clinic are designing a wastewater treatment system for use in the Jiaoyuan village, in the Sichuan province of the People’s Republic of China. The team is designing and testing systems to treat the blackwater and greywater from individual households in the village.


Low Cost Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Instrument for Educational Market

Sponsor: Applied Biosystems.
Academic Partner: National University of Singapore.

Project Abstract: This project is a continuation of last year to build a low-cost real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machine designed to educate high school students. RT-PCR is the process used to concentrate a specific strand of DNA. The project goals were to optimize the existing prototype, incorporate a robust biochemical protocol, and create the firmware and user interface. The HMC team built and tested a prototype with automated thermal cycling, stable temperature control, and finer resolution for reading DNA concentration.

Design of a Household Level Arsenic Treatment system for rural Cambodia

Sponsor: Lien Institute for the Environment.
Academic Partner: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Project Abstract: Arsenic concentrations in Cambodian groundwater can be one hundred times greater than the World Health Organizations standard of 10 ppm. While there are several arsenic treatment methods currently used in developed countries, these methods are not suitable for rural Cambodia. In collaboration with students from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the team developed a culturally relevant treatment method for rural Cambodia by adapting solutions from well-documented primary research. A proof-of-concept prototype was constructed using materials available locally in Cambodia.


Design, Building, and Validation of a Low-Cost Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Instrument for copying and Quantifying DNA

Sponsor: Applied Biosystems.
Academic Partner: National University of Singapore.

Project Abstract: Our global Clinic project was a collaboration between students at Harvey Mudd College and the National University Singapore. The project was to design, build and validate, a low-cost scientific instrument for making copies of DNA and quantifying the amount of DNA during the copying process. Specifically, the project focuses on the development of the thermalcycler and the optical detection subsystems for this instrument whose intended users are students in US secondary schools.


Optimization of a Recombinant Protein Product Through the Analysis of Filtration in the Production Process

Sponsor: Amgen.
Academic Partner: University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.

Project Abstract: Amgen wants the Amgen Global Clinic Team to explore sialidase inhibition and membrane filtration to optimize conditions for improving the amount of usable recombinant protein product. The HMC engineering students and the UPRM biotechnology students have been collaborating to understand sialidase activity as well as characterize different types of membranes within the filtration process.

Gravure Coating and Imprinting in Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Processes

Sponsor: Hewlett-Packard.
Academic Partner: University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.

Project Abstract: Hewlett Packard has tasked the 2006 Global Clinic team with determining the feasibility of developing computational fluid dynamic (FD) models of flows associated with an innovative roll-to-roll transistor production process. To aid optimization of the roll-to-roll process simulations of coating and imprinting processes using Flow3D, a commercially available CFD modeling package, are desired. These models will facilitate stamp design for the imprinting process and assist in determining feasible throughput conditions for large-scale production.