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Independent Study Projects and Thesis Projects

We have had several students do independent study projects and thesis. Students choose from a list of potential projects that would be beneficial to villagers and helpful to the CVBT. Geoffrey develops a project statement with background, goals, expected outputs and resources. Students check with their department for credit and an advisor. Students can do the project at the CVBT during their term in Thailand or they can email or Skype with Geoffrey.

Some past projects:

Research and Test Rice Husk Ash Cement

Rice Husk Ash Investigation

Nick Zemke

Emmet Woods

Cal Poly

2009

Plans and report

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Research dry composting toilet interventions

Emma's Going Away Ceremony

Emma Scott

Cal Poly

2009

report

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Paving Slab Production Plant Layout

Justin Grooms

Justin's Material Preparation Layout Justin's Paving Slab Layout

Cal Poly

2009

Plans and report

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Huan Yu Yen

Hum and Lumpang with Niew all moved in. Mark and Erin on a site visit

Design a functionally traditiona Isan house using earth blocks

Erin Feeney

Mark Fischer

Engineers without Borders, Cal Poly

Plans and report

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Design 3 Earthquake-Resistant Houses for Aceh

Plans and report

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Design a Self-Flushing Downspout

Danielle and Morgan's Self-Flushing Downspout

Morgan Miller

Danielle Vigent

Cal Poly

2009

Plans and report

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Potential Projects:

To apply for an independent study project, send an email with your choice of project, your major and applicable courses to cvbt@cvbt-web.org Contact your department and find an advisor.

  • Improve design and complete drawings, and material list for a dry composting toilet built from interlocking compressed earth blocks. Build a demonstration toilet at our Center. Include publications: instructions for use, public health promotional material, and instructions on particular aspects of the construction: capillary protection, quick piss trough, feces-deposit hole covers, compost-access doors.
  • Design and build a non-reinforced arched gate.
  • Design and build a motorcycle park for villagers
  • Design a community bulliten board/kiosk that could be replicated (28 in our Tambon [sub-district]) using materials from the CVBT.
  • Develop Rice Husk Ash pozzolana cement production and use. Our rod mill is in Cambodia right now but we could get it back or we can do something with it there (Battambang).
  • Install Hoist and Improve Loft Access at the CVBT
  • Research reliable ways to eliminate bubbles on the surface of paving slabs and roof tiles.
  • Specify proper use of concrete mixer to eliminate cement dust and electrical spikes
  • Design new paving slab colors; implement new patterns
  • Research financial mechanisms for banking and transfering funds from USA, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines
  • Research off-shore equipment manufacturing in Indonesia and the Philippines
  • Research organizational and financial structures for participation of villagers (e.g., Thai Rural Reconstruction Movement).
  • Develop the CVBT website to increase access for disadvantaged countries and to increase sales of equipment.
  • Develop a plan for the CVBT for sustainable growth.
  • Make a set of posters to encourage quality production practices.
  • Write at tech sheet on how to wire the Magnetic Switch for the soil pulverizer and how to test it.
  • Investigate and recommend ways to reduce dust from pulverizer and protect workers.
  • Specify proper handling equipment for HCl acid for batching and use in washing paving slabs.
  • Write up soil pulverizer maintenance & usage procedure tech sheets & forms
  • Design a Water Buffalo driven soil pulverizer. Work on the prime mover; the pulverizer is already designed, this is a design of a buffalo power supply. Water buffalos are usually used only during planting season.
  • Develop simple method for measuring moisture in sand & charts for specifying amount of H2O for a given w/c
  • Investigate ways to allow a villager who has a skin allergy to cement to make cement products more comfortably. This is for Abe, a diligent worker at the CVBT.
  • Redesign the bungalow at the CVBT: make improvements: reinforce with bamboo, spec' a roof with a true Thai style curve. Improve protection from rain; remove bathroom; provide for a ladder to the loft; change corner pillars to be 30x30 pillars, add arches. Build it.
  • Design a new earth block compression tester which can double as a shop press for general work and specifically for changing out bushings on the earth block press.
  • Modify a soil-cement mixer to improve mixing.
  • Design (& make) a new tool holder for atlas 6" swing lathe
  • Design a Pigment/cement mixer.
  • Write a paper on progress and suggest directions in developing a building code for earth quake resistant buildings built with interlocking compressed earth blocks.
  • Do a cost study for the production of plastic paving slab molds in Thailand.
  • Write a Paving slab production manual
  • Write and Layout a Paving Slab Feasibility Study manual (translate from Thai)
  • Write and Layout Paving Slab Management manual and checklists.
  • Develop the CVBT Web Site. Make it accessible in local languages.
  • Find & develop translation tools for local languages. We have a program for English>Thai and for Thai>Lao. We'd like to be able to translate from Thai or English to Khmer, Vietnamese, Burmese and Chinese.
  • Write and Layout Interlocking Compressed Earth Block Production and Construction Manuals in Thai, Lao and Khmer. A lot of the work is done; some editing and layout is needed.
  • Write and Layout a Micro concrete roofing feasibility manual and other promotional material in Lao language.