Thursday, May 19, 2011
LACKING APPLIED MECHANICAL ENGINEERING IN BELIZE EDUCATION
APPLIED MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS, OR COMMUNITY COLLEGE LEVEL ITVET
A BEEEG PROBLEM in our small country of Belize, is that our two Universities are relatively NEW in years and they concentrate on impractical CIVIL SERVICE type academic degrees, as they are easier to teach and require less equipment and investment.
What Belize needs is an APPLIED MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SCHOOL LEVEL DEPARTMENT.
Someplace we can teach students and youths HOW TO MAKE THINGS? Considering in the next ten years we are looking at 150,240 new young adults entering our work force, from existing school populations. ( Where will the jobs come from? ) ( The LORD helps those that help themselves. ) We will not be able to build our GDP and tax base, without our students of today, having more capabilities than just academic frills and such degrees currently being taught in our current tertiary education. Our civil service and salaried paid job situation is limited. As in any young developing country we need entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurs often need to learn on the job and acquire experience with little money. Here is an example of something that can be manufactured in Belize and is not being manufactured anyplace else in the world. Yet working models have been done in the past.
I´m referring to the ORMAT 4 kw regnerator which has operated without attention over a span of 35 years, or similar designs.
Currently the Mechanical Engineering students in California are making pilot samples of a micro generator system for the outback of Lesotho, in Africa. Why can´t our educators get such programs established here in tertiary education in Belize? The USA studends, particular model, of micro generator is made from salvaged junk auto parts. You need an alternator, an old car radiator to act as a condensor to cool the refrigerant, a power steering car pump, which can be used to return the fluid to the solar heater, or other boiler. A spiral turbine can be welded up in aluminum locally, to spin a car alternator directly, or a washing machine motor.
ref: http://www.stginternational.org.team.html A parabolic solar curved panel is easily made, most piping is available locally in hardware stores. Glycol or numerous refrigerants are available to apply as the heat liquid.
To make an ORC, ORGANIC RANKING CYCLE engine produces 20% efficiencies. Sunlight is free, granite pebbles from the Mountain Pine Ridge are low cost for a heat storage tank and once made, it should run for years. Producing electricity.
Lets say SPONSERS within Belize, or the GOVERNMENT put up a PRIZE of $100,000 to the first group of applied mechanical engineering students at the University of Belize to build such a working micro generator? Would that be the start of a NEW BELIZE?
We have people building ultra light aircraft here. People build boats here. A big DREDGE has been built here. The education just has to be re-routed at our PUBLIC OWNED UNIVERSITY. We need an applied mechanical engineering department. There are no end of development projects to be working on. Must we always be admiring places like BRAZIL for their ability to become the 4th biggest economic powerhouse in the world. Can´t we do it also?
Comment: Well said. They are pushing the same in the states-STEM subjects-Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. Belizean students generally rank highly in math and science abroad because they generally get a good base in primary & secondary schools. Time this type of education to good use now with inventions and increased manufacturing in Belize. The US is trying to refocus on the same as not much is made in the US anymore and therefore most of the jobs have gone overseas. Belize had a college dedicated to the STEM subjects years ago called BELCAST (Belize College of Arts, Science & TEchnology) but they closed it down for some reason or another when they came up with the UB system. Big mistake.
Sharon Urscheler SUrscheler@msn.com
Posted by A Professional BEACH BUM retires in Belize! at 7:09 AM