Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas is a Senior Lecturer of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University. His research currently focuses on electrification techniques for the developing world. His team received a Sustainable Vision grant from the NCIIA in 2008, enabling them to launch village-level electrical companies in rural Honduras.

Brian Thomas has applied for and been awarded 1 grant

  • Pico-Hydropower Franchising: A Test Bed in Rural Honduras - Village Energy

    Began January, 2008 and ended May, 2009

    An NCIIA Sustainable Development Grant is sought to facilitate research on methods of generating electric power suitable for the rural villages of developing countries by using small scale hydropower (pico-hydro, or hydropower less than 5000 Watts) and for sus¬taining these methods through innovative entrepreneurial initiatives. A technologically appropriate, environmentally benign pico-hydro system has been developed and installed in a Honduran village as a prototype and proof of concept. • This grant will allow the development of business plans for two types of businesses: franchised power-producing operations companies located in rural villages and system design companies located in a nearby urban centers. • In addition, this grant will allow the creation of three to six more prototype systems in similar villages. • By establishing these systems as small energy providers, the parameters over which these businesses will be self-sustainable and market deployable will be better determined. At the successful completion of this project, the concept of franchised pico-hydropower will be sufficiently developed that researchers may pursue the next stage of funding from sources such as The World Bank, the National Science Foundation, or other sources. The proposed project has significant and probable potential to reduce poverty globally by improving the health, education, and economic burden of rural people while simultaneously generating two types of scalable entrepreneurial opportunities.

    With the team:

    • Dr. Bill Jordan Chair and Professor, Mechancial Engineering, Baylor University
    • Ms. Lisa McKethan Grants Coodinator, Office of Sponsored Programs, Baylor University
    • Dr. Gregory Leman Director of University Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Management & Entrepreneurship, Baylor University
    • Dr. Kwang Lee Chair and Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Baylor University