On November 10th, join Ann-Perry Witmer (University of Illinois) on Zoom at noon for their lecture, "Learning the Value of Contextual Engineering through Soymilk and Tofu Production in Zambia".
Recent experiences working with an entrepreneur in Zambia on installation of complex technology for soymilk production demonstrate that inattentiveness or insensitivity to societal context can undermine a user's ability to achieve their objectives. This presentation will review the contextual engineering analysis used to overcome a businesswoman's obstacles to start-up and operation of a soy product facility.
Ann-Perry Witmer is a Research Scientist at the Illinois Applied Research Institute. Dr. Witmer designed drinking-water systems throughout the Midwest as a professional consulting engineer for more than a decade. During that time, she also became involved in humanitarian engineering work, ultimately helping to create service organizations that designed and installed engineered infrastructure with communities in Central America and the Caribbean. Dr. Witmer is a lecturer in the Grainger of College of Engineering. She earned her doctoral degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, focusing her studies on the effectiveness of engineering design for non-industrialized societies. Her research effort focuses on the refinement of the Contextual process methodology, in which user conditions are incorporated into the design process to produce a more sustainable outcome. Her methodology has been applied to engineering design processes for infrastructure and products, as well as to entrepreneurial pursuits and business management practices.