They say that leaders are not born, they are made. But in the case of Alan Hurt, he is both. From a very young age Alan knew he wanted to change the world, and what’s more, he knew that engineering would give him the unique opportunity to design and develop products that could help lift people out of poverty.
Alan is already putting his dreams into reality. He’s made several trips to Africa, where he helped design and implement solar heating components as well as food sanitizing systems, and even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise money for the village.
This past semester, Alan applied his knowledge and passion to a social entrepreneurship challenge and won $10,000 towards the development of the “Zoom Box,” a new, lightweight, inexpensive generator that harnesses and stores kinetic energy. These battery storage units can be powered by the movement of a bicycle, boat, or even oxen and are therefore accessible to the people who live in the remote villages that have shaped Alan’s life.
Alan believes Engineers Without Borders is a “living, breathing example of how students, families, communities, and generations can ensure that opportunities are not just for the wealthy and educated, but for all.”
One thing is for sure, Alan is just getting started. He is representing Light Up Africa at the Global Engagement Summit 2012 and is currently working with Light Up Africa to ensure the extension of the Zoom Box.
Please take a moment to vote for Alan in the Social Innovation Challenge!
We are proud to call Alan one of our students!
Not only is Alan a mechanical engineering and Industrial & Systems engineering graduate student at Northern Illinois University, he is currently President of the EWB-NIU chapter, the Vice President of SACLO, and the Deputy Director of Governmental Affairs.