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Designing Technology For Developing Nations

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Interdisciplinary Education in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.421.1 - 11.421.5



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Paper Authors


Willie Ofosu Pennsylvania State University-Wilkes-Barre

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Dr. Willie K. Ofosu is an Associate Professor and Head of Telecommunications Engineering Technology program at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, where he teaches telecommunications, wireless systems, networking, optoelectronics and analog and digital electronics. He is a member of IEEE, IEE (England), and a Chartered Engineer (CEng) of England. He is also a member of the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers (NARTE) and contributes to their Education Committee. His research interests are in RF components and antennas. He is currently involved in international activities in cooperation with some faculty members at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. He is an advocate of diversity in the educational environment. Dr. Ofosu received his Ph.D. from the Electronic Systems Department at University of Essex in England.

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Austin Asgill Southern Polytechnic State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



Technology transfer to developing nations has been mainly in the form of finished products such as equipment that are sold to developing nations. These products are designed primarily for applications in the nations that developed the technology, and these nations are mostly in the temperate regions. For this reason, the environmental conditions that are considered as part of the design criteria, and are well suited for the application of the technology, are those of the temperate regions.

Many of these equipments operate in remote rural areas where they may remain unattended for significant lengths of time. Some of these environments present extremes of weather conditions during the day and night times. Extreme humidity may also be a factor in the operational environment. While such technology work reasonably well in equatorial regions when they are operated by well trained technicians, technologists, and engineers, incorporating equatorial regional environmental conditions as part of the design criteria may extend the life time of equipment that are intended for use in such regions. It is essential that engineers, technologists and technicians receive an education that includes a consideration the effects of environmental conditions on the proper functioning of technology in developing nations where they may be deployed.. This paper discusses, and presents some efforts that need to be directed at the design of technologies that may be employed in equatorial regions. It also addresses the educational implications that need to be considered for those who may operate and maintain the equipment.

I. Introduction

The development of any technology from the inception of the idea through the prototype phase to a fully accepted and applicable state is a costly venture and the capital outlay at the beginning of the process can be very high. For this reason, there are not many companies that are able to undertake such a process from the beginning. Many companies will therefore jump in when the technology is established as a viable application. This indicates that it will be even further out of reach for a developing nation to undertake such a process. Developing nations are therefore generally user nations that depend on technological developments from manufacturing nations, and at best, developing nations can be service nations when their technicians, technologists and engineers are trained to operate and maintain the technology.

Technological development and hence the design criteria have advanced to the state where researchers and developers need to apply critical and well-defined design criteria and specifications to achieve the best results for the applications. While this applies generally to all technological developments, it may be more crucial in some cases. To cite

Ofosu, W., & Asgill, A. (2006, June), Designing Technology For Developing Nations Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1226

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