Bangor graduate designs power pack for third world countries

A Bangor University student who has spent the last six months working on designs for a power pack for Third World countries graduated from Bangor University this week.

Jonathan Hedge, 21, from Sheffield, graduated with a BEng Computer Systems Engineering degree from the University’s School of Electronic Engineering.

The former pupil of All Saints Catholic Secondary School in Sheffield chose to study at Bangor because of its mountains and fabulous location. Jonathan is passionate about the outdoors and thinks that north Wales has some of the best climbing and biking areas in Europe.

Happy to be graduating after three years of hard work, Jonathan said: “I’m a climber who had a really bad time at school. I still didn't know what to do when I applied to University, and only realised that I loved my course halfway through. Thankfully I found the right one!

“During my time at Bangor I was the secretary and co-founder for hackerspace, a society aiming to create an area for people to do their own extra-curricular projects, and provide the means and funds for them to do so. I was also part of Bangor’s climbing, mountain biking, athletics and RAG for all three years. I’ve really enjoyed being with some really influential people who have set my life on a really good course.

“For my final year dissertation, I successfully created a battery pack in collaboration with the International Health Partners charity and the Mobile Power Solutions company.

“The prototypes I developed aim to provide people who traditionally rely upon kerosene for lighting to switch to safer and more economical means of illuminating their homes and at the same time charge their mobile phones—themselves a lifeline in poor rural areas.”

The project involved designing both a power pack and light and a secure means of charging the pack at charging stations operated by the charity and its partners. Jonathan’s work has impressed the company and several of his innovations are likely to be incorporated in future products to be rolled out, initially in Tanzania and later in Rwanda, Uganda and elsewhere.

Watch a short interview with Jonathan

Publication date: 18 July 2014