Ryan Bush, an undergraduate UGA student, with Dr. William Kisaalita with the cooler being developed to keep milk refrigerated in areas of the world without electricity.

William Kisaalita, a professor originally from Uganda and currently on the faculty at the University of Georgia’s College of Engineering, has received $1 million to develop a milk cooler designed to help farmers, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Kisaalita joined the UGA faculty in 1991 and currently teaches at the engineering college, which was opened in 2012 and includes more than 100 faculty members from 24 departments across eight schools and colleges.

The college brings together representatives from a variety of disciplines to address real world problems like malnutrition and the need for practical applications such as keeping milk safe and healthy in areas without electricity.

Dr. Kisaalta’s invention uses the principle of evaporative cooling to bring the temperature of milk to a safe holding temperature. He has developed a refrigeration unit that is powered by biogas collected from cow manure.

The $1 million grant is from the U.S. Agency for International Development in partnership with the German and Swedish governments, Duke Energy Corp., and the Washington-based Overseas Private Investment Corp.

In an effort to keep airy farmers without refrigeration capabilities from losing as much as 50 percent of their daily milk, he is to being working with farmers in rural Uganda and develop relationships with local manufacturers to bring the coolers to these farms.

The biogas, according to Dr. Kisaalta, is to save the farmers from spending to acquire more expensive kerosene and is to replace the use of charcoal and wood for cooking, which is growing more scarce.

Dr. Kisaalta’s application was one of 12 international projects selected from 475 to share $13 million in funding for projects that integrate clean energy technology into agriculture sectors of developing countries.

USAID administrator Rajiv Shah said in a press release that the program “demonstrates how we can harness ingenuity and entrepreneurship to generate and scale real solutions in our fight to end extreme poverty.”

Originally from Uganda, Dr. Kisaalta received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and a bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda’s capital.

He has served as the associate director of UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities and he is a faculty mentor for students in the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.

Dr. Kisaalita may be reached by calling (706) 247-0556 or by email at williamk@engr.uga.edu