(2 unit) Graduate Course offered every Spring 

Contact: [Alice Agogino]; [Sophi Martin, Program Coordinator]:

Course Description:
Development Engineering represents a new interdisciplinary field that integrates engineering, economics, business, natural resource development and social sciences to develop, implement and evaluate new technological interventions that address the needs of people living in poverty in developing regions and low-income areas of the United States. This seminar, offered each spring term, will focus on work-in-progress presentations by the students, as well as faculty and guest lecturers. This seminar is a required course for the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering.The faculty members co-teaching the required Development Engineering Research and Practice Seminar will be the faculty advisors for the Dev Eng graduate students presenting their research in the seminar. This  term,  the  overarching   focus  of  discussion  will  be  on Innovation  at  the  Nexus  of  Food,  Water,  and  Energy  Systems  (InFEWS,  a  new  training program in the development engineering ecosystem).

See current participating faculty in the Dev Eng Graduate Group.  Also see our Innovations in Food, Energy and Water Systems (InFEWS) traineeship program.

Course Objectives

The objective of the seminar is to prepare students for research and practice in development engineering. Students will give presentations on their research and receive feedback from faculty and peer students in multiple disciplines. The seminar will also provide a community of practice in the new field of development engineering with a focus on food, energy and water systems.

Couse Prerequisites: Graduate level standing.

Student Learning Outcomes:

The students will learn to present their research in a scholarly setting.  Students will learn how to design human subjects protocols and include user participation in the design of their research. Through peer learning and faculty feedback, students will learn from exposure to a range of different examples and applications.

Assessment of Student Progress Toward Course Objectives:

  • 50% on presentation of research
  • 20% on attendance and participation in class
  • 30% on post-reflection and integration plan into research

Textbook (s) and/or Other Required Readings:

No formal textbook. Each speaker will be asked to provide one reading in preparation for his/her session.


Topic and Presenters 1-2 pm Topic and Presenters 2-3 pm
1. 1/23

Introduction and planning (Agogino, Martin, Brown, Colford, Ray)

Read: Design Thinking in Development Engineering, David Levine, Martha Lesniewski and Alice Agogino, International Journal of Engineering Education.

Development Engineering: A Critical Overview, Rachel Dzombak and Julia Kramer

Read: Impact Design Hub, Jan. 19 blog: (Links to an external site.)

2. 1/30

Paolo D’Odorico, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley, (formerly Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia. Research in Food, Energy, Water Systems and Land Use (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.).


    1. Earth’s Future, AGU Publications
    2. The fourth food revolution: In areas of the developing world that have benefited only marginally from the intensification ofagriculture, foreign investments can enhance productivity. This could represent a step towards greaterfood security, but only if we ensure that malnourished people in the host countries benefit.


We will also be jointed by Prof. Matthew Potts. from Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley. We will leave time to discuss possible project or research topics to be discussed by students.



3. 2/6

Catherine Wolfram, “An Economic Perspective on Rural Electrification in Kenya”,
Professor Catherine Wolfram, Haas School of Business. Readings: “Experimental Evidence on the Demand for and Costs of Rural Electrification (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” and “Electrification for ‘Under Grid’ households in Rural Kenya

4. 2/13

Zoe Bezpalko, Impact and Design Lead, Autodesk Foundation. Zoé Bezpalko is building her career at the intersection of sustainability, technology and design.
With a Master degree in Environmental Engineering and an MBA in Design Strategy, she is currently leading the impact modeling initiatives and design efforts at the Autodesk Foundation, supporting the creation of innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the practice of impact design in the context of today’s concrete realities such as career opportunities, financial sustainability and accountability.

Zoé Bezpalko will be building on her own career stories as well as providing the Autodesk Foundation perspective to answer the question:how do we practice impact design sustainably and responsibly in today’s world?

5. 2/20 NO CLASS – Presidents Day
6. 2/27

Daniel Kammen, Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at UC, Berkeley and a climate Science Envoy for the U.S. State Department.


– Alstone-Gershenson-Kammen-NatureClimateChange-2015-EnergyAccess.pdf

– Kammen-Sunter-CleanEnergyUrbanSustainability-Science-20May-2016.pdf

– Optional, for more info on energy in Africa: Oxfam-RAEL-Africa Energy gaps.pdf

Diego Ponce de Leon Barido, ERG and DevEng graduate student.


– Manfred Max Neef, Barefoot Economist, UC Berkeley (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. , in DemocracyNow! “The US is Becoming and Underdeveloping Nation”
7. 3/6

Amos Winter, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director, Global Engineering and Research (GEAR) Lab at MIT.

Read: What Engineering a Reverse Innovation Looks Like.pdf


Siva Rama Satyam Bandaru, Civil Engineering Graduate Student


– (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

8. 3/12

Amit Bandopadhyaya, Senior Director of Water and Energy, Winrock International.

Liana Olivas, Civil Engineering graduate student

Please read: Bio-inspired Desalination for Off-Grid Water Treatment.pdf

9. 3/20

Three speakers today: Clair Brown, Professor Emeritus of Economics (Read her book on Buddhist Economics and get is signed)  and John Gargani, Gargani + Company (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.and President of the American Evaluation Association.


Student speaker: Eli Lazarus, graduate student in Energy and Resources Group.
10. 4/3

Daniel Wilson, Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.


Environmental Science and Technology 2016 Wilson.pdf

Environmental Science & Technology 2014 Pillarisetti.pdf

Woojin Jung, Social Welfare and DevEng graduate student


0326_2017_Woojin Jung_More Aid to Countries in Need.pdf

11. 4/10

Khanjan Mehta (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., inaugural Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry; Director of the Mountaintop Initiative at Lehigh University

The Problem with the Potential Solution: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Social Impact takes a Planet: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Sangeeta Chowdhry, Program Director of Economic and Political Empowerment, Global Fund for Women (Links to an external site.)

12. 4/17

Ryan Shelby, Foreign Service Engineering Officer, Office of Energy & Infrastructure, USAID.


– “Increasing Productivity through Irrigation: Problems and Solutions Implemented in Africa and Asia”, Journal of Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, in press.

– Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development. Gender Integration Summary Report, 2016.

– Tribal Housing, Codesign, and Cultural SovereigntyJournal of Science, Technology & Values, 2013.

Anneliese Sytsma, Civil Engineering graduate student, and Wojtek Sitarz, Environmental Engineering graduate student

Anneliese Reading: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.She will be discussing Agros International (an NGO working with Engineers Without Borders) and the coffee processing wastewater treatment project in at Tierra Nueva.

Wojtek Reading: Hydrogeology of the Galápagos Archipelago: An Integrated and Comparative Approach Between Islands. Wojtek Sitarz will speak about water resources management on the Galapagos and a pilot study about fog harvesting for the archipelago’s agriculture he worked on. His reading describes the general framework of the (Violette, et al.) There is also a website from Columbia University that introduces fog harvesting (Links to an external site.)

13. 4/24

Ashley Muspratt, Founder and CEO, Pivot Co.


 this post (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. , which gives some context for how and why we’re tackling the sanitation challenge.
This policy report by Water Aid, Off Track, Off Target (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., is an excellent review of the state of investment in sanitation and the complex financial challenges that are hamstringing the expansion of services. It’s lengthy so I’ve shared the link to my pre-highlighted version; it would be great for the students to flip through and read to the extent they are interested. (At 40 MB I’m unable to attach as a document.)
This UNICEF website (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. provides a good visual snapshot of global sanitation coverage and other statistics.
QinQin Yu, Physics graduate student.

She will be talking about the process of designing, testing, and iterating Kepler Tech Lab, a low-cost engineering teaching lab model being developed by university students in Rwanda. The readings below give an overview of the goals of the project, as well a sense of how much the lab model has evolved since January 2015:

Looking forward: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Looking back: (Links to an external site.)