Asee peer logo

Sponsoring Research in Appropriate Technology

Download Paper |

Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Socio-cultural Elements of Learning through Service

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count

22

Page Numbers

24.1097.1 - 24.1097.22

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23030

Download Count

36

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Christopher Papadopoulos University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

visit author page

Christopher Papadopoulos is an Assistant Professor in the Department of General Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (UPRM). He earned B.S. degrees in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University (1993) and a Ph.D. in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics at Cornell University (1999). Prior to coming to UPRM, Papadopoulos served on the faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering & Mechanics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

Papadopoulos has diverse research and teaching interests in structural mechanics, biomechanics, engineering ethics, and engineering education. He is PI of two NSF sponsored research projects and is co-author of Lying by Approximation: The Truth about Finite Element Analysis. Papadopoulos is currently the Program Chair Elect of the ASEE Mechanics Division and serves on numerous committees at UPRM that relate to undergraduate and graduate education.

visit author page

biography

William Joseph Frey Univ. Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

visit author page

William J. Frey has taught research, business, engineering, and computer ethics at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez since 1990. He is a member and former director of that university's Center for Ethics in the Professions. He and a team of ethicists have worked with different universities in the Latin American context on faculty development workshops for identifying issues in engineering ethics, developing course modules in this area, and designing curricular strategies for integrating ethics across the engineering curriculum. His publications cover moral psychology, moral pedagogy, and engineering ethics in Puerto Rico. Most recently, he has been working on the GREAT IDEA project, an NSF-funded project that explores research in appropriate technology and community development.

visit author page

biography

Marcel J. Castro-Sitiriche Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez

visit author page

Marcel J. Castro-Sitiriche is a professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico in the Mayagüez Campus (Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez). His research efforts contain academic, educational and service activities. Some of the research areas of interest include appropriate technology, engineering education, power electronics, computational intelligence, electric motor drives, and renewable energy systems. He is the co-coordinator of the Social, Ethical, and Global Issues in Engineering program at the College of Engineering in the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. He is chair of the IEEE Engineering Education Western Puerto Rico chapter, and member of the International Network on Appropriate Technology. One of the current research projects combine most research interests and is based in the concept of appropriate technology. The project title is "Graduate Research and Education for Appropriate Technology: Inspiring Direct Engagement and Agency (GREAT IDEA)" and it is funded by the NSF (http://greatidea.uprm.edu/).

visit author page

biography

Joann M. Rodriguez University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

visit author page

Joann M. Rodriguez is currently a second year graduate student in Environmental Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM). Her research is focused on the biological mechanisms in the biosand filter technology. Previously, in 2012, she completed a Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering and a certificate in Environmental Engineering at the UPRM. She is interested in water quality testing and in water treatment systems appropriate for rural areas and developing countries.

visit author page

biography

Jeffrey Santiago University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

visit author page

Jeffrey Santiago is completing his fourth year as an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM). He also has a concentration in Biology, including investigations in Proteomics and Biochemistry. Jeffrey has recently begun research in the design and efficiency of clean biomass cookstoves, constructed with economical materials and suitable for use in developing countries that lack access to liquid fuels or electricity. In July 2013, he completed the one week Stove Camp at the Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, OR, where he won a prize for best design. Jeffrey is also active in many associations and community projects, including the Association of Biology at UPR-Arecibo, Green Howling Wolf, Air Force ROTC, AJEC, and the National Honor Society.

visit author page

biography

Tyrone Medina University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

visit author page

Tyrone Medina was accepted and enrolled to pursue his bachelor’s degree in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in 2007. He earn his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2013. During this time he gain interest in the fields of renewable energy, alternative power generation and appropriate technology. He also became a member of the Golden Key Honour Society and the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society where he is currently a member of the executive board as Vice President of Activities of the Puerto Rico Alpha Chapter and has also contributed to community service and the environment. Tyrone is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez majoring in power electronics. His research and academic interests are in power electronics, renewable energy, and appropriate technology.

visit author page

biography

Ricardo Maldonado

visit author page

Ricardo Maldonado was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. During the summer of 2010, Ricardo interned at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, IL where he developed a wind energy assessment project for Puerto Rico. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Power Electronics from the aforementioned university while working for an aerospace company (Raytheon Co.) in Arizona as an Electrical Engineer Circuit Designer. Ricardo has a couple of publications in the IEEE, his most recent publication, “Simulation, Design, Hardware Implementation, and Control of a 9-level Flying Capacitor Multilevel Inverter with Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm”, was presented in Japan at COMPEL 2012.

visit author page

biography

Cristina Rivera-Vélez GREAT IDEA

visit author page

Cristina Rivera-Velez is from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Holds a B.A, in Communications from the University of Sacred Heat, San Juan, P.R. Attended the University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez, where she completed her Master of Business Administration (2013). As graduate student, she worked as a graduate research assistant with GREAT IDEA, where she assisted in the research regarding attitudes of engineers. Also a member of the GREAT IDEA, she organized two events for the academic community, an Alternative Job Fair and an Appropriate Technology Forum. During the Fall 2013 semester, served as the teaching assistant of the course INTD 6095 Responsible Research in Appropriate Technology- University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez. Co-author: Bringing Responsible Research into Engineering Ethics: Responsible Research in Appropriate Technology. Her research interests include: media consumption trends, strategies for innovation and organizational change, appropriate technology and social entrepreneurship, strategies for the development of medium and small business.

visit author page

biography

Davis Chacon-Hurtado

visit author page

Mr. Davis Chacon Hurtado just finished his Master of Science studies at the school of Civil Engineering and Surveying from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. He is original from Cusco, Peru where he got his Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from the University of San Antonio Abad. After graduation, Mr. Chacon worked in the development of transportation infrastructure projects in rural areas for about two years before stating his graduate studies. His currently starting his Ph.D. studies in which the focus of his research will be the development and promotion of sustainable transportation systems.

visit author page

biography

Pablo Jose Acevedo UPRM

visit author page

Pablo Jose Acevedo earned undergraduate degrees in civil engineering at University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (2011). Driven by his necessity to further inquire into alternative development processes and ecological sustainability, in the beginning of 2012 he traveled to Colombia to participate in an intensive training course called GIGa (Integral Management of Guadua angustifolia) offered by Technological University of Pereira, department of Risaralda. During a period of six months, Pablo work as sustainable management technician for a Bamboo construction company called Co2Bambu. In October of 2012 he participated in a combined workshop of Earth Bag Construction “Super Adobe " and Principles Design of Permaculture offered by Cal Earth (The California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture ) in Hesperia, California. In the present Pablo is completing his master degree in structural engineer, conducting a thesis project title “Evaluation of Physical and Mechanical Properties and Effectiveness of Preservative Solutions of Tropical Bamboos with Structural Applications Cultivated in Puerto Rico”. Pablo is a professional fully committed to promote and develop sustainable development on underserved communities.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Sponsoring Research in Appropriate Technology Appropriate Technology (AT) is commonly understood as “simple” technology thatapplies primarily to “underdeveloped” or poor communities. Such views render AT to be behindthe frontier of technological innovation, and thus not a suitable topic for engineering research.Moreover, only a small portion of sponsored research and development – both by governmentand private industry – is focused in AT. Thus, although many engineers serve as volunteers indeveloping communities, and some work for development agencies, relatively few organize theirresearch efforts and career trajectories around efforts or principles of AT. We first critique this traditional viewpoint, arguing that a growing number of engineeringstudents are seeking opportunities to apply their skills to specific societal and communityconcerns, often associated with “developing” communities. We further argue that the concept ofAT is broad enough to include application to “developed” communities, expanding even furtherboth the potential pool and need for talented engineers to perform research in AT. Finally, weargue that appropriate technologies often require highly technical methods in their research anddevelopment, and corresponding ethical issues arise in this context must also be considered. To make these ideas concrete, we summarize our current work, sponsored by a grantfrom the National Science Foundation, to sponsor research in AT. The ongoing work of fourMasters degree students and one undergraduate student – in diverse fields such as transportationengineering, water quality engineering, power systems engineering, heat transfer engineering,and structural engineering – will be summarized. These examples illustrate that such research isboth technically grounded, adding new knowledge to the scientific literature, as well ascommunity focused, often addressing a niche that is not served by the usual research paradigms.These examples further illustrate that interdisciplinarity and understanding of social context areessential for conducting research in AT. To institutionalize the training of researchers in AT, a new course, “ResponsibleResearch in Appropriate Technology”, has been created to prepare research students tounderstand and anticipate research ethics issues, both in general (e.g., research misconduct,IRB’s, informed consent, and authoring & peer review) and in the context of AT (e.g., rights andcapabilities, human dignity, technology choice, environmental responsibilities, and informedconsent in communities). Enrolled graduate students explore their own research in this light, andshare their research with undergraduates, often leading to meaningful mentoring relationships,further attracting additional potential students to conduct study or research in AT. In summary, we present a broad view of AT which applies both “developing” and“developed” societies. Our efforts provide a concrete and successful pathway for the sponsoringresearch in AT and providing mentoring to young researchers. Ultimately we hope to set asidemindsets that obscure viable career pathways in AT, and to foster the growth and development ofthe next generation of appropriate technologists, both at our institution and elsewhere.

Papadopoulos, C., & Frey, W. J., & Castro-Sitiriche, M. J., & Rodriguez, J. M., & Santiago, J., & Medina, T., & Maldonado, R., & Rivera-Vélez, C., & Chacon-Hurtado, D., & Acevedo, P. J. (2014, June), Sponsoring Research in Appropriate Technology Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23030

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015