Engineering a Solution to Homelessness

Ohio State University

March, 2018
Engineering a Solution to Homelessness
Kevin Passino

At The Ohio State University, Kevin Passino, Humanitarian Engineering Center (HEC) director and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering is engineering a better way to combat the homeless situation in America.

Passino utilized technological solutions to create low-cost portable shelters, and to provide efficient and affordable lighting, but most importantly he engineered solutions to make products people-proof. Passino and a team at the Humanitarian Engineering Center are collaborating to make safe and effective tools to change the lifestyles for individuals that are affected by homelessness.

The purpose of this project is to provide health, hygiene, and storage for those who can not afford to do so themselves. Students, along with individuals at the HEC, are working on affordable light and heat tents for homeless individuals, where normal camping equipment might not do the same —thus, engineering products that are people proof. Passino was talking to a homeless woman who emphasized the need to have heat, not from a candle, but a source that doesn’t inflict injury. In reference to the candle, Passino emphasized, ”they’re light, cheap, and produce heat and light, but someone might roll over at night and kick it.”

Inventions and innovations within this field are not just solving homeless problems, they are solving real engineering problems. According to a 2015 California State University system study, they found that nearly 9 percent of students had experienced homelessness. At The Ohio State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, students and staff are collaborating to assist the global homeless situation.

To learn more about this project, click here.

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