Position open for a Malawi-based Design Engineer! Initial deadline for applications is Feb 15, 2018. More information can be found here.

Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies is partnering with the University of Malawi to improve healthcare through invention by replicating the success of Rice's award-winning, engineering education programs for global health and by promoting shared innovation between students at the two campuses.


With support from the Lemelson Foundation and Rice 360º, Rice 360° is collaborating with colleagues at the University of Malawi Polytechnic's new biomedical engineering degree program, the University of Malawi Medical School and at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, a long-standing Rice 360° innovation partner.


Our goal is to improve health care through invention by building and sustaining an international cadre of innovation leaders.  We aim to make a sustained impact on the health in the developing world by training engineers who can identify practical new technological challenges, infuse engineering skills with entrepreneurial thinking, and work across geographic and disciplinary boundaries with clinical, engineering and business partners.


The Lemelson-funded program will allow Malawi Polytechnic's new bioengineering degree program to replicate some of the best features of Rice's award-winning global health program. For example, Rice offers formal design courses that allow undergraduates to work on client-sponsored design projects related to global health. Those courses are supported by Rice's Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, a unique undergraduate design studio with the necessary equipment and supplies to create and evaluate technical prototypes.


As part of the new collaboration Rice 360° and Malawi Polytechnic faculty will develop an engineering design studio at Malawi Polytechnic's campus in Blantyre. Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, also in Blantyre, has partnered with Rice 360º to evaluate dozens of Rice's student developed healthcare technologies. The hospital and the University of Malawi Medical School will partner with Malawi Polytechnic's engineering design studio to offer similar opportunities for its students.


The Rice-Malawi partnership also will foster an innovation ecosystem based on two-way collaborations between students in Houston and Blantyre. The partnership will initially focus on creating technologies to improve neonatal survival in low-resource settings. Students from Rice and Malawi Polytechnic will then evaluate life-saving technologies under the supervision of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital’s pediatric specialists.


Throughout the design process, students will be mentored by clinicians, professional engineers, industrial designers and business leaders. This hands-on approach fosters entrepreneurial thinking and helps students make the leap from a promising prototype to a sustainable product that can directly impact lives.