DevEng 210 2018: Impact Design – Development Engineering Research and Practice

(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. 1/22

Introduction and planning (Agogino, Martin, DevEngFaculty)

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

Read: P. Gordon, J. Kramer, R. Dzombak, S. Martin, A.M. Agogino, “Building 21st Century Skills through Development Engineering“, Proceedings of the Mudd Design Workshop, 2017 titled “Design and the Future of the Engineer of 2020”.

Development Engineering: Student perspective and journey on framing research around social justice, development, design and engineering, Julia Kramer and Rachel Dzombak

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

2. 1/29

Yael Perez, PhD Architecture, UC Berkeley: Design Freedom: Constructing the Social Pillar of Sustainable Development.


Design Freedom: Constructing the Social Pillar of Sustainable Development.


Kara Nelson and Luis Anaya, Civil and Environmental Engineering: Closing nutrient cycles by recovering fertilizer from waste.

Read: Source Separation – Will we see a paradigm shift in wastewater handlingEnvironmental Science & Technology feature, 43, 2009, pp. 6121-6125.


Towards global phosphorus security: A systems framework for phosphorus recovery and reuse optionsChemosphere 84, 2011, pp. 747-758.



3. 2/5

David Levine and Steve Harrell, Haas School of Business: Barriers to Product Adoption in Developing Countries. As a case study, we will examine LPG cookstove adoption in India. 

Read: Ujjwala scheme: Are cleaner cooking fuels affordable and accessible? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. The Centre’s Ujjwala programme can be a game changer, but a few bottlenecks remain. Down To Earth travels to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha to document the progress

Read: White paper for an example of some barriers to adoption and potential intervention to address them.

 Smantha Hing, Andrew Pennock and Ashok Gadgil.

Read: Lessons learned from a comparison study of charcoal stoves for Haiti

Read: Stove Solutions: Improving, Health, Safety, and the Environment in Darfur with Fuel-Efficient Cookstoves

Read: Avoided emissions of a fuel-efficient biomass cookstove dwarf embodied emissions

View YouTube Video: Impact of Berkeley-Darfur Stoves on Refugees (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

4. 2/12

Kweku Opoku-Agyemang, PhD, DIL and Rober On:  “Artificial Intelligence and economic development”

Read: Blumenstock, Cadamuro and On (2015) “Predicting poverty and wealth from mobile phone metadata (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” Science.

Read: Opoku-Agyemang, Shah and Parikh (2017). “Scaling up peer education with farmers in India (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” ICTD 2017, ACM/IEEE.


Khan Fouzul, Bangladesh Solar Program, Editor Keystone Quarterly Review. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Designed and implemented successful Solar Home System with 4.5 million SHS were installed and low level electricity access provided to about 18 million people in Bangladesh. Also co-author of Financing Large Projects (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Revised Edition; see flyer).

5. 2/19 NO CLASS – Presidents Day
6. 2/26

Joshua Blumenstock, iSchool: Data-intensive ICT4D

Read: Blumenstock, Cadamuro and On (2015) “Predicting poverty and wealth from mobile phone metadata (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” Science.

Read: Combining satellite imagery and machine learning to predict poverty

Isa Ferrall, Dan Kammen: Reliability of decentralized solar energy systems.

Read:  Alstone (2015) “Decentralized energy systems for clean energy access“. As a good general introduction to the decentralized energy system field.

Scan: Taneja,  “Measuring Electricity Reliability in Kenya“. This provides a good introduction to the field of my masters project research on reliability, but is a working paper, and we may talk about other topics in the presentation.

7. 3/5

Clair Brown, Professor of the Graduate School, Emerita in Economics: Buddhist Economics. Agogino will bring in copies of her book on Monday, Feb. 26. Clair Brown has agreed to book signing in class on March 5.

Read: ch 6, and then one other chapter depending on their research interests:  global poverty (Ch  5), ecological crisis (ch 4), holistic well-being (ch 3).

At the seminar Clair Brown will focus on how to measure quality of life in a specific project or specific group, and use the Gross National Happiness (GNH) and the Better Life Index (BLI) as examples. Students can look at BLI web site to see the component parts of this dashboard: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.For GNH,  here is the lastest report: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Summary of how survey was done: pp 38-52. Creating the index:  pp 57-60. Then the results discussed and 2015 compared to 2010.


Chowdry Sangeeta, Global Fund for Women, and Kate Jastram, Lecturer in residence at UC Berkeley Law School.

Scan: Global Fund for Women website  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Read: Women’s Economic Empowerment: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Read: Transforming Women’s Work:  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Read: United Nationals, Sustainable Development Goals, Gender Equity (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Read: Gender and the Sustainable Development Goals: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

View International Women’s Day 2017: A Message from UN Women’s Executive Director: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

View Understanding the Dimensions of Sustainable Development (3:59) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

8. 3/12 Communication Workshop Communication workshop



3/19 Introductions by Heather Lofthouse.

Kate Mcelligott, Autodesk Foundation.

Ranjit Deshmukh <>, ITRI-Rosenfeld postdoctoral fellow: Energy Technologies Area, getting india off coal


Winrock, Erin Hughes (worked on the ag side and heard a lot of challenges farmers expressed in moving from diesel to solar in Nepal (you can’t move them, they might get stolen), yet there are cases where they were adopted quickly.  The class could explore why technology is adapted and why it isn’t and look at technology from the perspective of farmers. Will look at the adoption of technology, using solar water pumps as an example. They will give two case studies – one in Nepal) and one in Kenya. 

Erin Hughes is the Director of Regional and Country Planning for Winrock International, leading Winrock’s field focus initiatives for developing country offices. She has more than 25 years of experience in development designing, managing, monitoring and evaluating projects in market-based agriculture, natural resource management, economic development and women’s empowerment. She combines technical expertise (community-based natural resource management, market solutions, gender) with project management and administration. She has worked in South Asia, China, Russia (Far East), Central Asia and the U.S. In addition to her work as director of regional and country planning, she provides home office support to the USAID/Bangladesh’s Climate Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods Project and serves as senior adviser to the JDR 3rd Scholars Program. She has a B.A. in zoology and environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.E.S. from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science. She is fluent in Nepali, which she learned as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal.

10. 4/2

Paige Balcom and Prof. Van Carey, Mechanical Engineering: Plastic Roofing in Uganda


Ugandan newspaper article about plastic waste: to an external site.

Making paving tiles from recycled plastic using little machinery: to an external site.

Video of how to make tiles with industrialized process: to an external site.

Miri Lavi-Neeman, from the Arava Institute in Israel:

Eco-Hegemonies: The Struggles of Indigenous Communities over Water, Food, and Tourism in Israel’s Negev Desert Highlands

Miri Lavi-Neeman, Director of The Center for Hyper-Arid Socio-Ecology; The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

Case-studies to highlight the complex political issues, controlling and transforming communities, through access to water, energy, and food production.


1) A soon to be published, but still under final edits manuscript on some of the project that will be presented:
Avriel Anvi N; Avni Y;   Babad A.; Meroz A.  “Wisdom dwells in places: what can modern farmers learn from ancient agricultural systems? “
2) Background on Land and Bedouin -Jewish conflict in the Negev:
  • Critical perspective towards Israeli authoreties:
    Yiftachel, Oren. “Epilogue: Studying al-Naqab/Negev Bedouins-Toward a colonial paradigm? 1.” Hagar 8.2 (2008): 173.‏
  • Critical perspective towards Bedouin
    Frantzman, Seth J., Havatzelet Yahel, and Ruth Kark. “Contested indigeneity: The development of an indigenous discourse on the Bedouin of the Negev, Israel.” Israel Studies17.1 (2012): 78-104.‏
    indegenous kark.pdf
  •  An introduction from Emily McKee’s book on settlement environmentalism and conflicts in the Negev:
    McKee, Emily. Dwelling in conflict: Negev landscapes and the boundaries of belonging. Stanford University Press, 2016.
    McKee Introduction.pdf
11. 4/9

Joshua Viers, UC Merced, ecology/watershed: “More Pop per Drop: Functional Environmental Flows to Meet Ecosystem Needs and Human Demands”

Read: Meeting ecosystem needs while satisfying human demands, Environmental Research Letters, 2017.

Read: Function Flows in Modified Riverscapes: Hydrographs, Habitats and Opportunities, Bioscience, 2015.

Read: Systematic Screening of Dams for Environmental Flow Assessment and Implementation, Biosceince, 2014.

InFEWS Fellow: Victoria Cheng.

Readings: Maintain Reliability in the Modern Grid System.

Achieving 100% Renewable Grid.

Canceled: Karletta Chief, PI, University of Arizona’s NSF NRT: Indigenous FEWS Fellowships. Dept.of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences

12. 4/16

Amos Winter from MIT’s Global Engineering and Research (GEAR) Lab will be visiting the Blum Center on Monday, April 16. He will be speaking briefly to DevEng 210 at 1:00 pm. This will be followed by a workshop by Pierce Gordon on: 

Principles Focused Evaluation for Researchers in Development Engineering.

Read: Chapter 6 from the text Principles-Focused Evaluation. which outlines and explains the GUIDE framework for evaluating principles. I hope this canbe sent out to students and staff in time. 

Principles Focused Evaluation for Researchers in Development Engineering.

(will take full two hours)

13. 4/23

Michael Ranney, Paras Kumar, Leela Velautham, Graduate School of Education: Global Warming Education.

Read: Ranney, M. A., & Clark, D. (2016). Climate change conceptual change: Scientific information can transform attitudes. Topics in Cognitive Science, 8, 49-75 [and Supplemental Material].  doi: 10.1111/tops.12187 

Clean Energy and Climate Change Education in School Garden Classrooms. 

Alana Siegner and Dan Kammen


Wynes, S. & Nicholas, K. The climate mitigation gap: education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions. Environmental Research Letters (2017). (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Read: Alstone, P., Gershenson, D. and Kammen, D. M. (2015) “Decentralized energy systems for clean electricity access“, Nature Climate Change5, 305 – 314.  DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2512 

14. 4/30

Lunch reception (noon-1:00 pm). Guest Speaker Arpad Horvath. See: NSF award to Horvath and research team for a study of environmental impacts of food-energy-water systems in and around cities. Professor Arpad Horvath, and a research team that includes co-PIs CEE Professor Kara Nelson and ESPM Professor Matthew Potts, was awarded a $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation and the US Dept. of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NSF-NIFA) as part of their Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) program.The program seeks to address how we will continue to have a sustainable supply of food, energy and water, and protect the ecosystems that provide essential services for humans.

Arpad Horvath is the Principal Investigator on INFEWS/T1: Reducing the Environmental Impacts of FEW Systems in and Around Cities (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

This project will create an integrated food-energy-water systems (FEWS) framework to identify spatially- and process-specific reductions in life-cycle energy and water use, economic costs, environmental impacts, and solutions for resource recovery in urban, suburban, and periurban areas.

Researchers from diverse disciplines at two collaborating universities will consider current and projected future conditions, tradeoffs, and associated uncertainties and sensitivities in these systems.

Summary; Seigi Karasaki on Montana Workshop