Undergraduate Teaching

Engineering Tripos Part IIA Project, GM2: Technology for the Poorest Billion, 2019-20

Engineering Tripos Part IIA Project, GM2: Technology for the Poorest Billion, 2019-20

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Dr A J Kabla

Timing and Structure

Thursdays 11-1pm, and Mondays 9-11am plus afternoons. This project involves a couple of sessions in Lent to discuss possible project opportunities.


The aims of the course are to:

  • To introduce students to the challenges of designing and innovating with technology in the context of international development.
  • To provide students with opportunities to learn hardware and software rapid prototyping skills.
  • To develop students' skills with project development, open collaborations and documentations writing.


The project brings hardware design challenges from international development and humanitarian contexts to undergraduate Engineers. Students will be challenged over the course of four weeks to prototype and test solutions using open source technologies, and document their progress. Students will be working in the Dyson Centre, and a limited budget will be available to them to create their prototype. The project is developed and offered in collaboration with the Centre for Global Equality. Principles of interdisciplinarity, openness and collaboration are key to successful international development projects. Students from all areas of engineering are welcome to join this team-based activity where complementary skills are an asset.


1. Wed 29 Jan 2020, 4-6pm: Lara Allen, Director of the Centre for Global Equality, will present some of the most pressing challenges faced by the poorest billion on the planet, and cover a number of success stories, but also highlight failures and works in progress.

2. Wed 11 March 2020, 3-6pm : Open discussion about projects of interest and team activity.

3. Allotment of Projects: start of IIA project period - to be determined with partners in due course.

4. Project Week 1: Developing a proposal including costing. Identifying team strengths and weaknesses, setting up work-plan and roles for the project development.

5. Week 2/3: Early prototype development.

6. Week 3: Interim presentation, preliminary feedback from judging panel.

7. Week 3/4: Development of final prototype, project report, online documentation et video demonstration.


Coursework Due date Marks

Proposal/team presentation/Budget description

Thu 7 May 2020

15 (5 individual)

Interim presentation

Tue 26 May 2020

15 (5 individual)


Tue 2 June - Thu 4 June 2020,
time to be arranged during the project

20 (individual)

Final Report + Online Submissions

Thu 4 June 2020, 4pm

30 (5 individual)


Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.

Last modified: 04/10/2019 14:01