Scot Frank (US)

Globally, over four million people die every year from household air pollution, mostly due to cooking over burning wood, animal dung or charcoal. The average wood-burning stove can produce 400 cigarettes worth of smoke every hour.

During the research in the Himalayas for her dissertation on household energy in rural China, locals asked Catlin Powers, founder of One Earth Designs, why she was looking at the outdoor pollution when the skies outside were blue while inside the huts, the air was heavy and smoky. It was a legitimate point and Powers reached out to Scot Frank, who was teaching at a Chinese university at the time, helping students with engineering projects that would improve their communities.

From their partnership came SolSource: a solar powered portable cooker that allows people to cook their food wherever they are – and also produce heat and electricity and even purify water – using nothing more than solar power. The design is both lightweight, since local communities have to be able to carry it around, and sturdy at the same time, to withstand extreme weather conditions and intensive use.

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