Campus News in Brief

Engineers receive grant to assist injured soldiers

Carnegie Mellon’s Bone Tissue Engineering Center director Jeffrey O. Hollinger and professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski have received a $2.9 million, three-year grant from the Department of Defense.

The grant was given for the pair’s recent research into helping the injured, specifically wounded soldiers. Hollinger and Matyjaszewski’s research explores the prevention of bone nodules, which form at the site of amputations and make it difficult for affected individuals to wear prosthetic limbs.

When a limb is amputated, regardless of whether it is done by a doctor through surgery or through more violent means such as an explosion, bone can sometimes form within the soft tissue of the injury.

“This grant will help us prevent heterotopic ossification at the amputation stumps of military troops wounded in combat. Our work is critical as amputations increase with the current surge in Afghanistan,” Hollinger said in a university press release.

According to U.S. Army reports, amputations among wounded soldiers increased more than 60 percent, from 47 in 2009 to 77 through Sept. 23 of this year. The main cause of U.S. soldier amputations is injury from contact with improvised explosive devices that are planted on the ground or along roads in combat areas.

Schnitzer develops clean, affordable energy in Haiti

A second-year Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon’s department of engineering and public policy, Daniel Schnitzer, was recently recognized for his attempts to bring clean and affordable energy to post-earthquake Haiti. Schnitzer is the co-founder and executive director of EarthSpark International, which was recently recognized for its efforts by former President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The CGI empowers global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s largest issues.

“We are working with local partners and the Haitian government to build electricity access from the bottom up, starting with direct sale of solar lamps and energy-efficient stoves to communities in rural Haiti by establishing clean energy stores,” Schnitzer said in a university press release. “There is acute energy poverty throughout the country, and that problem was only magnified by the January 2010 earthquake.”

EarthSpark International, has been operating a store in the town of Les Anglais since 2008, providing the citizens of Les Anglais, which has a population of 25,000, with affordable and clean energy through partner organizations.