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Blog 10: Research as Usual (RAU), Solar-Sea and IDAcademy

posted Nov 11, 2011, 6:55 AM by William Hong   [ updated Apr 8, 2012, 3:54 PM by Thomas Geissmann ]
(2011 - November 11)

Blogger: William
Journey: Research as Usual (RAU), Solar-Sea and IDAcademy.
It has been more than a month since we got back to the lab. Compared to on-site exposures, it is quite different here. The leaves you see in the real field are green. In the lab, the leaves are white, the ones you find in books. None the less, it is good as a researcher to sit down and be in your thinking zone and start pounding on the theoretical concepts of the real world. And that is exactly what we have done in the past few weeks.
Research As Usual (RAU) could be the new term here. I am currently focusing on the development of a lamp rental system model, for theoretical modeling, simulation, and optimization. I can`t divulge all the details about it yet but one recent output we have might give you a hint.
Last week, on November 5, 2011, the Solar-Sea Project (SSP) was presented in the International Center for Social Entrepreneurship (ICSE) business plan competition 2011. And just like its older brother project, the Lamps for Rent Project (L4R), the Solar-Sea won the award for the competition, this time the NEC Award. It was another enlightening day for Just to explain briefly, the Solar-Sea project will be the next pilot project for the organization, taking it to the seas! With the realization that lamps were not exactly contributing to the economic situation of the households unless they were linked with their livelihoods, the Solar-Sea Project aims to provide rechargeable underwater lamps, again through a rental system, to provide better opportunities to fishing communities. Cheers to the SSP and I wish it well for its future pilot project.
At this point in time, I would also like to commend a special group quite close to my heart. In fact, this group was borne from a piece of it. Before that though, a little bit of history. The first time I heard about the word "social entrepreneurship" was back sometime in year 2005 while playing a round of golf with my close friend JJ. He shared to me that his professor was a so called social entrepreneur and it was something new. He needed not to explain it fully to me, because in an instant I seemed to grasp the whole concept of that new world by just hearing those two words aligned in such a manner. Since then, that though never left my mind and I dreamed that some day I would be a social entrepreneur myself. Who knew that a few years later I would already transform a little piece of myself into that. In year 2007, during my masters years, a group of friends and I met together to form this group, we called back then, International Development Association - TokyoTech. It was a new organization in this university, and unique for Japan anyway, which would empower students to pursue international social development projects even while in the academe. Fast forward a few years later, we already came up with several award winning projects; the Modialogo Engineering Awards (MEA) Nepal Project to name our biggest achievement. This group has been the real inspiration of Now a days, we refer to IDA as the International Development Academy where I served as an officer for 2 years already. Just recently, we had our humble election of officers where we welcomed the new IDAcademy Core 3G! It was with great pleasure and profound happiness when I handed over our organization`s leadership to the new group. I understood that time does allow things to grow if you would just be patient. To my dearest IDAcademy family, thank you for being my inspiration to move forward and pursue the dream of being a social entrepreneur!
It will still be research as usual (RAU) for a few more months here. We graduate in 1 year time, September 2012, here we come. For now, the Christmas season is coming up so we do need to spice things up to get ready for a quick corner of accomplishments and rest. In energy research it is important to keep a good balance between theory and practice. What keeps us alive is the food we eat everyday. But really, the soul needs something more than just the physical. And so before the Solar-Sea Project sails on, we need to prepare the theoretical side of it. I look forward to the upcoming weeks. Research as usual (RAU), the Solar-Sea Project (SSP), and IDAcademy are three inseparable friends that equate to mind, body, and soul for me. These three keep the wheels turning and lamps burning for
Happy holidays soon my friends,

The Solar-Sea Project proposal debuts at ICSE Business Plan Competition 2011 
winning the top prize given by NEC.

Solar-Sea Project winning the NEC Award with fellow IDA entries 
was mentioned in Nikkan Kogyou Shimbun 
(Daily Industrial Newspaper, November 10, 2011)


The recent election of the new IDAcademy Core 3G! 
Renewed strength, refined vision.
October 26, 2011

The International Development Academy - TokyoTech
Our humble organization pursuing international social development, 
encouraging students to practice what they preach!
Founded in year 2008