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Building Water Wells to Stabilize Remote Villages

Christopher A. Mattson, Brigham Young University
Brigham Young engineer Christopher Mattson in a workshop on site in Tanzania. (Image credit: Christopher A. Mattson, Brigham Young University)

This ScienceLives article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

Brigham Young University engineer Christopher Mattson designs technology that targets the needs of the world's poorest populations. He and his students have produced new water-well designs for villages in Africa and new tools for farmers in Guatemala.

Villagers in Tanzania test out a human-powered water-well drill. (Image credit: Christopher A. Mattson, Brigham Young University)

As with many designs for communities in need, the technologies may enable insights into methods, or even underlying engineering design theory, that could also have impact for the major manufacturers of the United States and other developed economies.

For videos of Mattson's work, see,, and In the video that follows, Mattson answers the ScienceLives 10 questions.

Name: Christopher Mattson Age: 36 Institution: Brigham Young University Field of Study: Engineering

Editor's Note: The researchers depicted in ScienceLives articles have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the federal agency charged with funding basic research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. See the ScienceLives archive.