June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Community Engagement Division
26.1436.1 - 26.1436.13
Student Perspective on the Design Process of a Charcoal Press for Kenyan FarmersThere is scarcity of fuel sources in rural communities of developing countries which requiresmaximizing available resources. A process to convert agricultural waste into charcoal briquettesis currently in place, but it is manual, time consuming and has low productivity. This paperpresents the research, ideation, analysis, and testing conducted during a two-semester designproject to develop a mechanical charcoal press to expedite charcoal production. The authors,second year engineering students, collaborated with a local non-profit organization that providessupport to rural communities in Kenya. This partnership allowed valuable input from the endusers and culminated in sending a prototype to be field tested in Mikinduri, Kenya. Throughadvances in communication, the results of the field test were immediately incorporated into thedesign. After several iterations, the final design, a Levered Press, improved the charcoal pressingprocess by increasing time efficiency, reducing energy input by the user and producing betteryield. The project involved various cultural and behavioral factors that are usually leastconsidered in undergraduate engineering design projects, which opened a global perspective tothe authors regarding the role of engineering in remote communities. This paper will discuss theprocess the students used to develop the device, describe the interactions between the end usersand the designers and how this project provided innovative ways to design a solution for remoteclients.
Bias, K. M. T., & Larsen, D., & Osgood, L., & Gamble, A., & Montgomery, S. P. (2015, June), Students’ Perspective on the Effectiveness of Design-Based Curriculum during an International Design Project Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24773
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