Malawian inventor, author and student William Kamkwamba to speak at Student Union

College of Engineering presents Distinguished Lecture Series

10/4/2013 - By: Mike Wolterbeek
kamkwamba lecture

William Kamkwamba, co-author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, will give a public lecture at the University of Nevada, Reno Saturday, Oct. 19.

Kamkwamba's is a remarkable success story about the power of human ingenuity in the face of crippling odds. His talk will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual to change the world. This 2013 College of Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series presentation will be in the Milt Glick Ballroom in the Joe Crowley Student Union. There is a 5 p.m. reception preceding the free 6 p.m. lecture.

Kamkwamba is a Malawian inventor, author and student. At the age of 14, after being forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford tuition, he regularly visited his village's library and found the book, Using Energy, which included illustrations and an explanation of windmills. Without any background in engineering, limited English skills and using only PVC pipe, a tractor fan, an old bicycle frame and tree branches, he, on his own, succeeded at erecting a windmill, which brought electricity, light and the promise of a better life to his home and community.

As a result of his invention, Kamkwamba received incredible international support, allowing him to return to school as well as complete other projects he envisioned for his community, including a solar-powered water pump to supply clean water, a water well drill to pump water from deeper spots and a drip irrigation system to protect his family from future drought. He is currently a student at Dartmouth College.

Kamkwamba has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and has appeared on numerous networks, including ABC's Good Morning America, CSPAN's Book-TV, NPR and Comedy Central's The Daily Show. An accomplished speaker, he has addressed audiences multiple times on TED, at the 2008 World Economic Forum, and at schools and universities around the globe.

Please RSVP to engineering@unr.edu or 775-784-6925 on or before October 10, 2013.


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