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Where design, engineering meet

first_imgHarvard has a new graduate degree program. The Graduate School of Design (GSD) and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are collaborating to offer a master’s in design engineering (MDE). The two-year program, announced today, was developed and will be jointly taught by faculty from both Schools. It is designed to give students the skills and knowledge to take a collaborative, innovative approach to problems that are large, technically deep, complex, multiscale, and open-ended. The curriculum will bridge quantitative, computational, visual, and aesthetic thinking, and will encompass engineering and design as well as economics, business, government regulation and policy, and sociology. Applications are being accepted now for the initial cohort of students to start next fall. In a joint interview with the Gazette, Mohsen Mostafavi, dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at GSD, and Francis J. Doyle III, the John A. Paulson Dean and John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SEAS, discussed the origins and goals of the new program. GAZETTE: How did the program come about?MOSTAFAVI: This program actually originated six or seven years ago as a lunchtime series called “Now?” that convened people from across Harvard who were doing interesting work. The idea behind “Now?” was to host spirited conversations that were not about dwelling on the past or predicting the future, but rather about sharing knowledge about the compelling current work that is propelling society forward. We had great people involved, including the mathematician L. Mahadevan, who went on to win a MacArthur Prize. It was fascinating to hear experts talk about subjects such as the use of mathematics to organize space and time in the context of a design school that encourages broad thinking to address spatial and environmental issues. As a result of this series, more faculty members from the GSD and SEAS got involved. We started doing some classes, joint activities, and discussing the connections between design, engineering, and entrepreneurship. We had conversations about potential graduate programs and undergraduate programs and finally we felt that focusing on a graduate program that brought our two Schools together would be very exciting.GAZETTE: What makes this the right moment, and why is Harvard the right place to launch this program?MOSTAFAVI: We have a great and innovative engineering program. We have one of the leading design programs in the world. Our engineering school is interested in design, and our design school is interested in the questions that affect the environment broadly, and dealing with real-world problems. So why not put these two together and think about the way in which design engineering can combine the best of imagination, creativity, and alternative approaches to making things, to come up with novel ways to respond to problems? There’s a lot of discussion around design thinking. How is design applicable to other disciplines, not just the built environment — architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning — but everything from the organization of companies to the management of large systems?It seems like a very good moment to capitalize on this greater understanding and enthusiasm for these topics. We notice them through the success of companies like Google and Apple and other new-media tools, utilizing the space between design and technology or design and engineering. It hasn’t quite been named; there are little manifestations, nuggets of it here and there. But for us, it’s very exciting that we are naming it.GAZETTE: What is the profile of students whom you’re looking to attract into the program?DOYLE: The composition and diversity of each cohort is critical. If you go back to the engineering approach or design approach from decades ago, the disciplines existed in silos. If you’re in an engineering firm, you might bring in mechanical engineers for one piece of a project, chemical engineers for another piece, computer scientists for a different piece. They really were islands, and they had to put the pieces together, and that was often a very ad hoc process. Here, we’re breaking down boundaries. That’s not to say we’re creating jacks-of-all-trades, completely cross-trained individuals, but we are preparing individuals to take a multidisciplinary mindset into a project environment and work across fields. It’s not that we’re just adding four or five disciplines and getting whatever aggregate product would come from that. We are building teams that can be more innovative in how they cross boundaries and collaborate.This is the future of how things will be done in the real world. Students are not getting plugged into traditional silos of very narrow expertise. They’re being forced to work on teams that require multiple skills. Diversity of thinking approaches, of backgrounds, of work experiences: All of these things will lend to the ultimate success of the program.MOSTAFAVI: Initially, we want people with backgrounds in design, architecture, and engineering. But one could imagine that people could come from a broader range of backgrounds — from urban planning, the various fields of engineering, industrial design, manufacturing, even the arts. It would be great to attract diverse and international applicants. The ideal candidate would also have some professional experience — someone who’s been out of school for at least two or three years.Designers have the tools for visualization, computation, fabrication. Engineers have a different level of technical knowledge and capabilities. How do you bring these two cohorts to a level where they can talk to each other, where they can collaborate? That’s the exciting part of this new program, because the point is not, over a relatively short period of time, to turn designers into fully fledged engineers, or to turn engineers into fully fledged designers.GAZETTE: What are some of the ways that this new Harvard program is distinctive?MOSTAFAVI: One of the things that’s distinctive is that it’s genuinely, truly collaborative, from the day it starts. There are other programs wherein students would be exposed to design as a phenomenon in the context of a mechanical-engineering department, or students would be introduced to design in the context of an MFA program, but they wouldn’t be directly instructed by faculty across a range of engineering and a range of design disciplines working together to define the possibilities of their collaboration.What’s also exciting about our program is that it is as much about the training of a certain kind of leader as it is about the relationship between our two faculties. In other words, the faculties of both schools will also be profoundly affected or influenced by these collaborations.The cliché is that engineers are not really concerned with aesthetics; they get to design very big structures or systems, and in that process there doesn’t seem to be any kind of discussion of beauty or style or culture. It’s an interesting phenomenon because engineering is supposed to be scientific, rational, but engineering is actually full of aesthetic judgment.DOYLE: “Collaborative” is the key word here. Some of this is in our DNA. On the SEAS side, we don’t have departments; we’re already a seamless, interdisciplinary organization. It’s in our nature to want to bring to a problem a toolkit that reaches across the spectrum of bioengineering and mechanical engineering and computer science and materials. At Harvard, this approach to collaboration is very natural.MOSTAFAVI: At the same time, we need to transcend the limitations, if you like, or the condition of just our own collaborations. This has to [be] helpful for our Schools, but it also has to create a body of work that we are able to communicate with other people. The lens of design thinking is one such mechanism of communication with our colleagues at the Business School, or with colleagues at the Kennedy School. For example, students in this program will be dealing with health systems, or the infrastructure of cities and their organization, or water systems, or diminished resources.DOYLE: In the last decade or two, engineering has moved toward closer collaboration with the sciences and medicine. This program represents a bridge to a new partnership, a partnership whose time has come. I think engineers will embrace this as a natural part of engineering’s own evolution.MOSTAFAVI: The entrepreneurial dimension of the program is also important. A lot of times you have great designers who don’t articulate the value or the implications of their great ideas. I think the combination of design and engineering needs to be understood in the broader context of how future leaders will realize projects.GAZETTE: What is the pedagogical experience of the two Schools that you’re building on to create the curriculum?DOYLE: Engineering has always had a design element. In fact, the capstone design project is the bedrock of an engineering curriculum. Historically, it was integrative, pulling together the pieces of the curriculum into a fairly straightforward engineering project. I think what’s different in this vision is the creativity and innovation, and the aesthetic dimensions must be folded in. We have a generation of students who have this passion for things like bringing together synthesis elements, engineering elements, the aesthetic elements, and fusing them in an innovative way.Harvard is the perfect place for this, because we are a liberal arts institution where we have these wonderful gems of engineering and design and the other professional Schools embedded in the campus. Our students are learning about the world and the context for which their training is preparing them.For example, the ES96 problem-solving and design project course at SEAS has had this flavor of creativity fused with the engineering-design process. Students address some very interesting, real-world, impactful problems in realms such as sustainability and smart cities. It is a very natural collaboration we’re talking about, bringing the beauty of the design element together with the technological challenges, to find creative solutions.MOSTAFAVI: GSD also has extensive experience with the studio model. This is a course where a dozen students work with one, two, or three instructors from different backgrounds, and spend a whole semester working together on a project. The concept of studio practice is a workshop model, rather than a lecture course, and takes real-world situations under consideration and proposes alternative solutions. Studios will be a distinctive part of the new program.DOYLE: The momentum that we’re bringing to this from SEAS includes courses like ES96, where large, open-ended, complex problems of great societal impact are put in front of students. The kind of problems that students work on are very complex, multilayered, pressing global challenges that don’t have any textbook answers. There’s not a solution you can go look up. There’s not one solution. There’s a multitude of solutions. We’re harnessing their creativity to work in teams, to collaborate.MOSTAFAVI: The courses have clients, people who have a real set of needs, like a CEO of a tech company who has been operating his firm the same way for years, but whose profits are declining, or a mayor who is facing complex infrastructure issues to repair with a limited budget. The issues are not just hypothetical constructs. The issues are invariably developed in consultation with people who have a lot of experience, and they are looking for solutions to the kind of questions that they face. I think the question of the client, the user, and how you’re mediating, testing your product, or testing your solutions, is going to be key.GAZETTE: What jobs will people go onto after they graduate?MOSTAFAVI: We imagine that people who complete this program might end up working for companies that have a very strong connection to societal needs. You could also imagine that they could work for a number of technology companies. There will be a lot of possibilities for people who don’t want to work for anybody else, who want to start their own companies to develop their own ideas, people who really want to be innovative entrepreneurs.last_img read more

Arts and Letters raises funds for mammograms

first_imgFor 14 years, the College of Arts and Letters has sponsored the Race to the Goal fundraiser to support breast cancer prevention during the month of October. Mo Marnocha, who organizes the campaign, said this October, the College of Arts and Letters raised more than $7,000 for mammograms, bringing the total amount of money raised over 14 years to more than $100,000. Marnocha said the money raised goes directly to pay for mammograms for people in St. Joseph’s County, and the funds collected this year will pay for approximately 45 of these tests.  “The facilitator of our fund is United Health Services, and they put that money into a special Notre Dame account,” she said. “When people come to them saying they need mammograms, if the person meets the criteria, the money will be used to pay for mammograms or diagnostic screenings.” Marnocha said the College of Arts and Letters has sponsored a variety of events including an online auction, soup-offs, chili-offs and raffles.  “We had a kind of flea market where people brought their goods and sold them in the Great Hall,” she said. “Also, one of the professors of music performed outside Crowley Hall.” Marnocha said the College also hosted a tailgate Oct. 19 before the USC game.  “It’s easy to raise money when there are people walking around campus on a home football game weekend,” she said. For every year of the fundraiser, the Dean’s Office has sold notecards with watercolors of various campus buildings, Marnocha said.   “That’s kind of our staple, we’ve always sold those,” she said. “Mark Roche, who was dean at the time [the campaign began] – his wife is an artist and a cancer survivor and she actually created those.” The majority of the donations for the fundraiser come from faculty and staff, Marnocha said.  “We’d love to have more students participate, but I know that our students on campus are already very involved in service,” she said.  Marnocha said she came up with the idea for the fundraiser 14 years ago when she read an article about breast cancer awareness.  “It was fairly new, 14 years ago, the whole pink ribbon thing,” she said. “So I went to the person I worked with at the time and suggested that as a team-builder we do a competition to raise money during the month of October for breast cancer awareness.”  Marnocha said in previous years the fundraiser was a competition among various offices in the College, but this year they decided to change this style.  “This year, we decided to do away with that and just do a total College effort,” she said. “A lot of people liked it that way, because there are people who will always work hard regardless if they are on a team or not.”  Although the fundraiser did not reach its goal of $10,000 for this year, Marnocha said she is satisfied with the outcome.  “We will ultimately help a lot of people with the money we’ve raised,” she said. Contact Catherine Owers at cowers@nd.edulast_img read more

Alternatives fuel hopes

first_imgA new fuel at the pumpTwo problems – poor air quality in cities and depressed farm crop incomes – might make biodiesel production a unique opportunity for the state, said John McKissick, an agricultural economist with UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. McKissick recently completed a feasibility study on biodiesel production in Georgia.”Biodiesel could make significant reductions in certain exhaust emissions, improving air quality,” McKissick said. “And generating income from animal fat and spent vegetable oil could be a boon to our poultry and farm industries.”Georgia annually produces about 55 million gallons of oilseeds and animal fats from which biodiesel could be produced. According to McKissick, these are the most economical sources for biodiesel in Georgia.A big advantage of biodiesel is that existing diesel engines and equipment don’t need to be altered in order to use it. “B-20 (a product made of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel) can go right in the same gas tanks, using the same engines,” he said.However, McKissick estimates that even under the most ideal circumstances, biodiesel costs 9 cents more per gallon to produce than petroleum diesel. This could easily be remedied by a federal subsidy, similar to the one in place for the production of ethanol, another type of biofuel, produced mainly in the Midwest from corn, he said.New sources of electricityFor electrical production, biofuels are more expensive than coal, but not by much, McKissick said. “If you used the most efficient technology, a bio gasifier, at the largest optimum scale, a ten percent subsidy would make it competitive with coal in the long-term,” he said. “This is a commercial technology that’s already being used in other parts of the country.”According to McKissick’s studies, Georgia’s most likely sources of biomass for electrical production are chicken litter, pecan hulls, cotton gin trash, wood chips and forestry waste products, all by-products of Georgia’s largest industries and crops.”It often costs companies to dispose of these products,” he said. “So making biofuel out of them takes something of negative economic value and generates a positive.”UGA was the site of an important biofuel feasability study when the entire campus was heated for six weeks last winter using animal fats, oil and grease, said Tom Adams, the UGA engineer who headed the project. “No modifications were made for the 1950s vintage boiler and no unusual problems or odor complaints occurred,” he said. “The construction costs were $31,000 and fats are a renewable resource, with the U.S. producing about 11.6 billion pounds of animal fat each year.” By Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaSkyrocketing oil prices, a sharp increase in the cost of natural gas and imminent war with Iraq have experts and industry leaders taking a harder look at alternative fuels.Biofuels – those made from vegetable and animal byproducts instead of petroleum – and the feasibility of producing them in Georgia were recently addressed at the Georgia Biofuels Symposium held on the University of Georgia campus.”With over 600 gas stations in the U.S. charging more than $2 per gallon for gas, a reliance on foreign countries for 60 percent of the oil we use, and a host of negative environmental consequences, there are compelling reasons to pursue the commercial production of biofuels in Georgia,” said Dale Threadgill, head of UGA’s agricultural and biological engineering department in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Georgia’s significant forest and agricultural resources may give the state an advantage in what some believe will be a booming new biofuel industry.”In the same way that petroleum refineries transformed the 20th century, biofuels will transform the 21st century,” said keynote speaker Helena Chum of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Co. “Georgia has a lot of potential to become a leader in this field, as we move from a petro-economy to a bio-economy.” last_img read more

Cedarhurst Man Killed in Car Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 50-year-old Cedarhurst man died after crashing his car in East Meadow on Monday evening.Nassau County police said Paul Wentz was driving his Subaru Outback westbound on Hempstead Turnpike when he crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and struck two utility poles shortly after 7 p.m.The vehicle overturned and the victim was taken to a local hospital, where he died.Third Squad detectives impounded the vehicle and are continuing the investigation.last_img

H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Death rate, hajj risk, hand washing, tools for schools, effect on poor nations, vaccine approvals

first_img Experts say hand washing science shaky for fluSome infectious disease experts are questioning the science behind hand washing as a measure to curb the spread of the pandemic H1N1 virus, Newsweek reported. Though hand washing can prevent the spread of cold and other respiratory viruses, there is no evidence that it helps stop influenza, said Arthur Reingold, an epidemiologist at the University of California Berkeley. He says that flu transmits through airborne routes and that hand washing could provide a false sense of security.http://www.newsweek.com/id/215435Sep 15 Newsweek story Sep 16, 2009 Saudi Arabia dismisses hajj flu riskHealth officials in Saudi Arabia yesterday downplayed the risk of pandemic H1N1 flu transmission at the upcoming hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today. They said they are reassured because no flu deaths have been linked to the smaller Umrah pilgrimage, which began Aug 22 with the month-long Islam Ramadan observance. Other countries, such as Egypt, have considered barring pilgrim travel, and others have advised that high-risk groups not make the trip.http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/world/09/16/09/saudis-dismiss-hajj-swine-flu-fears-other-states-worrySep 16 AFP story China licenses third novel flu vaccineChina has licensed its third pandemic H1N1 vaccine, made by the government-affiliated Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences, the United Kingdom Press Association reported today. The state-run paper Shanghai Daily reported that the institute has plans to produce 3 million doses by Oct 1 and up to 10 million by the end of the year. Sinovac and Hualan Biological Engineering produce the other two approved vaccines. China hopes to vaccinate 5% of its population by the end of 2009. Glaxo awaits US approval for H1N1 vaccineA spokeswoman from GlaxoSmithKline, the only one of five producers that didn’t received Food and Drug Administration approval for its pandemic H1N1vaccine yesterday, said the company earlier this month submitted a request for approval for its nonadjuvanted vaccine, Bloomberg News reported. She said the company initially concentrated on developing a vaccine with an adjuvant, but US health officials have favored a nonadjuvanted vaccine approach to speed and simplify the approval process.http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aL1RsswD_C44Sep 15 Bloomberg News storycenter_img WHO director: Pandemic may devastate poor nationsIn a speech yesterday in Copenhagen, World Health Organization director-general Margaret Chan said the H1N1 pandemic is causing “manageable disruptions” in affluent countries but will likely have a “devastating impact” on developing countries that have few health resources. She predicted the pandemic will be a “watershed event” that will test the world on fairness issues. On the same day the European Commission urged members to share vaccine with developing nations.http://www.who.int/dg/speeches/2009/euro_regional_committee_20090815/en/index.htmlSep 15 Margaret Chan speech H1N1 said to kill at same rate as seasonal fluThe H1N1 flu death rate is lower than previously estimated and comparable to what is seen in a moderate flu season, a Harvard University expert said at a meeting in Washington, DC. Dr. Mark Lipsitch estimated the case-fatality rate is between .007% and .045%, Reuters reported. That would qualify as a category 1 pandemic (the lowest level) on the US government’s pandemic severity index. Lipsitch based his estimate on global reports of flu-like illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE58E6NZ20090916Sep 16 Reuters report Microsoft offers Web tools for teachers, sick studentsMicrosoft today launched a Web portal with free tools to help teachers and students manage class assignments during novel H1N1 outbreaks. The Microsoft Office Live Workspace H1N1 flu site enables teachers to post assignments, share handouts, and conduct group projects. The tools are accessible with any Internet connection and don’t require Microsoft Office on the students’ computers. A Microsoft official said the tools could help schools handle flu-related disruptions.http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/sep09/09-16H1N1PR.mspxSep 16 Microsoft press releaselast_img read more

Istria included in the new edition of the popular NY Times guide

first_imgYou can see Istria as a microcosm of Southeast European history of the 20th century, but it is also a magical playground of the 21st century for all those who love the sun, ancient hill towns, Roman heritage, wine, truffles and excellent gastronomy.This is how the world-famous guide of The New York Times, David Farley, introduces the story in the recently published edition. ” 36 Hours in Istria“. The popular edition of “what to do when you have 36 hours to get to know one place” is intended for travelers and readers as an introduction to discovering destinations around the world, through short, weekend trips.This journey through Istria begins in the Buje region, and lasts for three days when, after enjoying the joys of the Adriatic in the morning, a “fishing” snack in Fažana and a tour of the Arena and Roman heritage, he leaves Pula and Istria in the afternoon.”Paradise for food lovers” or “luxurious peninsula” are some of the phrases with which the author beats Istria, revealing to readers Istria as a destination full of experiences, both on the coast and in the interior of the peninsula. He includes Istria in the destinations of top gastronomy, and he is not surprised by the fact that the first Michelin star in Croatia arrived in Istria, so he calls the experience in this Rovinj restaurant MONTEastic!What David Farley recorded for Istria about NYTimes, check out the guide “36 hours in Istria”last_img read more

Siemens Goes Local on Moray East

first_imgSiemens has placed multi-million pound contracts with companies across the UK for the construction of the transmission infrastructure for the Moray East offshore wind farm.As the lead contractor for onshore transmission infrastructure construction works for the 950MW wind farm, Siemens has placed several subcontracts since work began in September 2018.BAM Nuttall has been appointed as the main subcontractor to complete the civil works for the onshore substation that is being constructed to connect the project to the grid. The contract will see BAM Nuttall’s Glasgow office complete civil and building works, including foundations for the transformers, shunt reactors and switchgear equipment as well as constructing the internal road, fence and internal drainage works at the new onshore substation being built at New Deer.Firms from the area local to the onshore construction sites have been working on site enabling works ahead of major civil construction works including preparation of the substation site and onshore cable route as well as provision of building materials and plant, Siemens said.Perth civil engineering company, I & H Brown are undertaking enabling work on the onshore substation site, while JGC Engineering and Technical Services of Thurso will fabricate and fit out the high voltage equipment containers which will be shipped later this summer for integration into the project’s offshore substation platforms. In addition, Barrier Architectural has been appointed to fabricate a set of containers from its Stockton-on-Tees facility.VolkerInfra, based in Preston, will provide and install the high voltage onshore export cables for the project which stretch the 35km underground cable route from near Whitehills on the Aberdeenshire coast to the new substation site south of New Deer. VolkerInfra has appointed Scottish companies to deliver road improvements and complete horizontal directional drilling works required for the cable installation.Siemens is responsible for the complete construction of the onshore substation, including three SVC Plus advanced STATCOMs, as well as supplying three offshore substation platform topsides for the project.Anwer Amara-Korba, Project Director at Moray East for Siemens Transmission and Distribution, said: “This is one of the largest construction projects in Scotland and it is vital that companies based in the local area get to share in its success. It will be a key part of providing clean, sustainable energy for Scotland to meet its low carbon aims, providing enough power for one million homes. We’re very proud to be working on the Moray East project and with a team who are so firmly committed to leaving a positive legacy in Aberdeenshire.”Moray East will comprise 100 MHI Vestas 9.5MW wind turbines mounted on jacket foundations at the site some 22 kilometres off the Aberdeenshire coast in Scotland. The wind farm is scheduled to be fully operational in 2022.“Moray East has been in development for the last nine years and we are now progressing with construction across various elements of the project,” Sarah Graham, Transmission Infrastructure Package Manager for Moray East said.”The experience and capability of the local supply chain is crucial in delivering the transmission infrastructure required to grid connect the wind farm. We welcome Siemens’ appointment of its key subcontractors and look forward to working with them to deliver the project safely and successfully.”last_img read more

Kidnapped Crew Member of Greek Tanker Dies, Remaining Three Freed

first_imgThree of the four kidnapped crew members of the oil tanker Elka Aristotle have been released, however, the fourth crew member, a Filipino national has died, European Products Carriers Ltd., managers of the Greek-flagged vessel, informed.“A full investigation is underway into the situation, but it is understood that his demise was not as a result of any actions by those holding the crew hostage but due to illness,” the company added.The three released crew members have undergone medical checks and are reported to be well.They were being debriefed by the local authorities prior to returning home to the Philippines, Greece, and Georgia respectively.The tanker was boarded by armed pirates on November 4, 2019 while anchored near the West African port of Lome, Togo.The incident occurred only two days after nine crew members were taken hostage from a bulk carrier off Cotonou, Benin. The anchored vessel was boarded by perpetrators while it was waiting for berth to discharge cargo.The seas around West Africa have been characterized as the world’s most dangerous for piracy, amid rampant kidnapping incidents over the recent period. Specifically, in the first nine months of 2019, the region accounted for 86% of the 49 crew taken hostage and 82% of the 70 crew kidnapped globally.The trend has, unfortunately, resumed with at least four ships attacked in the region over the past month.Seafarer unions and other industry bodies have been urging relevant authorities to allocate all necessary assets to the region in order to eliminate piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and protect the seafarers sailing through the region.last_img read more

Facebook gets more users in Nigeria and Kenya, eyes rest of…

first_imgFacebook has released statistics of major African markets, Nigeria and Kenya, showing it has nearly 20 million users in the two countries, with the majority of these using mobile devices to access their profiles.The numbers are the first to be released by the social network for Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa and Kenya, East Africa’s most developed country.Facebook considers the two countries very important entry points into the continent with nearly one billion people.It opened its first African office in Johannesburg in June as the continent’s growing population and relatively low levels of internet access present a huge unexploited market for the social network to earn advertising revenue.Nigeria had nearly 15 million monthly active users as of June 30 this year, all of whom used mobile devices to upload, like and share content on the social network.In kenya, 95 percent of the 4.5 million monthly active users did so via mobiles.The data also showed that South Africa has 12 million monthly active Facebook users.Facebook says that due to its strong advertising partnerships in the continent, it would use the new office in Johannesburg to expand its business across the continent.The social site also said that its active population in Africa grew 20 percent to 120 million in June from 100 million in September last year. A large portion of these users were in North Africa.last_img read more

Work to recommence on Castle Comfort/Wallhouse link road by September

first_img 35 Views   no discussions LocalNews Work to recommence on Castle Comfort/Wallhouse link road by September by: – August 12, 2011 Sharing is caring! Share Sharecenter_img Tweet Share Hon. Ambrose George.Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau South Constituency Ambrose George says work should recommence on the Castle Comfort/Wallhouse link road soon.The Government of Dominica, through its Ministry of Public Works began construction work on the Castle Comfort/Wallhouse link road late last year. As part of this project, a section of the road was refurbished and proper drains installed. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the project has been halted for several months.According to Mr. George the project is still on the agenda and work will recommence by September.He told Dominica Vibes News that he is aware of the deplorable condition of the road as he visited the area recently; however both the details and designs have been finalized.“We have finalized the details for the designs for the link road of the Wallhouse section, the main road that is the link road from Castle Comfort through so maybe between late August and September we should see some work recommence in that area,” he said.The Minister also noted that a well laid concrete road with proper drainage is his preference as the cost of maintenance would be little for a few years.“I would prefer to put a nice concrete road in that area because you know concrete when it is well laid down and constructed properly, it lasts and the maintenance on that is almost zero for several years. So if you have proper drains and proper concrete surface I think the people of Wallhouse will be happy.”Meantime, Mr. George explained that although the roads in the Castle Comfort/Wallhouse/Leopoldville areas are part of private developments, the Government has been assisting with the repairs but these roads should be declared public.“These roads have not yet been declared as public roads so they do not fall under the general maintenance of the Ministry of Public Works. We have been maintaining them however possible but what needs to be done; this is why we have the Village Council of for example Loubiere, Wallhouse, and Leopoldville and have advised them to seek to have these roads declared publicly. So the Government will be directly responsible for the maintenance of those roads,” he said.Mr. George also noted the efforts of some residents who have been assisting in repairing the roads in the Castle Comfort/Wallhouse/Leopoldville area.“In the mean time some of the residents are helping themselves, we give some tarish, and cement where possible, but in another sense the Government from time to time goes in and does the necessary repairs. But to the extent that the repairs are required, sometimes is beyond the Government, so we are doing what we can but certainly it is our intention to have all the roads in proper condition in the future.”Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more