USD Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and Clarity Design Part of Team Selected for $100 Million Competition to Solve Global Problems

The University of San Diego Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and San Diego-based Clarity Design Inc. have partnered with the Himalayan Cataract Project, an organization which was recently selected as a semi-finalist for a MacArthur Foundation competition that will award $100 million to solve a global challenge.

The Himalayan Cataract Project works to end blindness in developing countries in Africa and Asia, including the remote regions of Nepal and the Himalaya Mountains.

USD engineering students and Clarity Design have been working on prototypes to diagnose glaucoma in the developing world where limited access to treatment often leads to blindness, unemployment and poverty.

“We are thrilled to be a small part of the project selected to participate in this prestigious competition,” said Chell Roberts, Dean of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. “The partnership with the Himalayan Cataract Project symbolizes our dedication to develop engineers who are Changemakers for social justice and humanitarian practices.”

The Himalayan Cataract Project was selected this week from among 1,904 applicants as one of eight semi-finalists for the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change competition. The foundation will select up to five finalists in September to present their proposals during a live event on December 11. The foundation will select a single recipient to receive $100 million over six years.

USD engineering students are working with Clarity Design on the development of two tonometers – one hand held and the other non-contact – to diagnose glaucoma. The teams have completed several prototypes and are focused on making the designs accurate and robust enough for long-term use in the field.

"We are excited to continue our support for the Himalayan Project," said Tom Lupfer, President and CEO of Clarity Design. "What could be a more meaningful cause than trying to eradicate preventable blindness throughout the world?" 

More information on the project and competition can be found at the New York Times and CNBC


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