PIEp sponsors thesis work to solve the global water crisis

Published: 20 November 2007

During the academic year 07-08, students from LTU will participate in a global project in collaboration with Stanford University, KTH and LTH. The purpose of the project is to develop a product that extracts potable water from humidity in the air. The company Immerse Global is the customer and together with the Swedish PIEp organisation they are providing the funding for the project. PIEp stands for Product Innovation Engineering Program and is a national program with the purpose of strengthening the ability in innovative product- and business development.

Four of LTU:s students from the M.Sc. Program in Industrial design engineering and Arena innovative technology and business, went to Stanford, California, in the end of October to begin their thesis work in collaboration with Stanford University. 

The American company, Immerse Global, seeks to develop a new product that can generate potable water from the humidity to solve the water crisis in dry and polluted areas. Immerse Global has recruited Stanford University as a partner, with a particular interest to work together with Swedish students, which in turn led Stanford to contact LTU, KTH and LTH. This project is unique because the participating teams work from four geographically dispersed sites, which will be a challenge for the participating students.

- The project is interesting also from a research perspective, since the student teams face the same challenges as global industry companies when it comes to effective knowledge sharing and distance-spanning communication, says Andreas Larsson, project leader at the Division of Functional product development at LTU.

Stanford University, with Professor Larry Leifer in the front row, carries out these types of global innovation projects every year. Apart from the Sweden partners, universities from Finland, Switzerland, Mexico, Colombia and Germany are participating this year. Head sponsors are, to mention a few, Panasonic, BMW, Siemens and GM.

- The task for the Swedish team to solve the global water supply problem is an interesting issue these days. It puts product development efforts where they are needed the most”, says Stig Karlsson at the Department of Human Work Science at LTU. 

For more information: Project leader Andreas Larsson, tel. +46 920-49 18 74, +46 70-332 18 74, andreas.c.larsson@ltu.se, PIEp nodeleader Tobias Larsson, tel. +46 920-49 30 43, +46 70-511 94 16, tobias.c.larsson@ltu.se or the universities PR-officer Lena Edenbrink, tel. +46 920-49 16 22, +46 70-679 16 22, lena.edenbrink@ltu.se