SMITH, Amy, American engineer. Her ultimate career was much influenced by living in India at a young age, her father had been a professor there. Then, following a spell in the Peace Corps in Africa, Amy realised she needed more advanced engineering skills to help the people there. Back in the USA, at MIT, she gained an MS for her invention of the screenless hammer mill. This type of mill grinds flour which is then passed through a screen. But in the Third World, use of a screen creates poses problems since they need frequent repair (which is not available). In her design of machine, the grain is channelled into the milling chamber where a single cutting blade spins. An aerodynamic flow is created by the spinning blade, this separates finished flour from unground grain without need for a screen. Amy’s design caters for local manufacture and repair of the machine. It is 50-100 times faster than manual milling, and has been successfully field-tested. Amy continues to invent low-technology devices as needed in poor countries. The inventions are not patented, so they can be used as widely as possible. Another major invention for which she has won awards, is an incubator which uses no electricity (for bacteriology and serological tests). Amy is rapidly becoming an advisor on such technologies and has publications and CDs on the subject. Her involvement with MIT programmes and organisations is continual.
Related further reading...