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Mathematics is Focus of Two Grants CAMPUS CURRENT


This Drill is for Real E4 EXERCISE TESTS STUDENTS’ DESIGN


Dong-hyeon Park ’14 spent two weeks this past summer work- ing with Aid Africa to field test an HMC-designed manual water drill bit in Northern Uganda. The test site’s location in the remote village of Rwothobilo


gave Park a glimpse of the need the drill will meet and the peo- ple it will serve. “They had springs, but it was mostly dirty and contaminated water,” Park said. “Some had pumps that were installed by others, but many of those did not work properly or provide enough water.”


“It was fun trying to fix the problems as they came up and setting the drill up and seeing it work.”


The work gauged the performance of the prototype Park and his fellow E4 Water Drill Team members developed during the 2010–11 academic year. Aid Africa asked the team to rede- sign its current drill bit to better withstand the sandy and rocky Ugandan soil. The original, X-shaped drill bit often got stuck in the soil and the drill pipe broke whenever the bit struck rock. The team was also tasked with making the drill less strenuous for its users to operate. Park and team members Brett Manning ’14, Nobuhiro Yokote


and Courtney Keeler ’14 developed a conical-shaped drill tip with slots that allow the sandy soil to enter the pipe. Under the supervision of engineering Professor Adrian Hightower, they also designed a tripod, rope and pulley system that eased the stress on the drillers. To operate the drill, three people pull on the rope to lift the drill-pipe while two others hold the pipe and provide stability and downward thrust. Each time the rope is let go, the drill-pipe is manually thrust down into the soil. Once the pipe fills with soil, it is pulled up and emptied. The drillers repeat the process until they strike water. The drill bit tested well in California, but had to be modified to fit the larger pipe used in Uganda. So the test team added couplings to increase its diameter.


Student Research


Engineer Dong-hyeon Park ’14, shown working with Ugandan villagers, and two other Mudders worked with Aid Africa to redesign a drill bit.


“It was fun trying to fix the problems as they came up and setting the drill up and seeing it work,” Park said. “The coni- cal [bit] worked pretty well because it could go through rocks and hard soil. I thought we would have to hit a couple hundred times to go in a foot, but it only took about 30 strokes down to get a foot deep.”


—Koren Wetmore


FALL/WINTER 2011 Har vey Mudd College


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