News

“Classroom inventions that help save lives” by Sophie Edwards, DevEx, January 4, 2017

“Development Engineering awarded $3M from National Science Foundation” October 19, 2016

“CellScope Loa: Four steps toward safe treatment for river blindness” by Paul Preuss, Berkeley Engineer, November 1, 2015

“Fortifying Breast Milk” Berkeley Engineer, November 1, 2015

“A new kind of development professional: The development engineer” by Catherine Cheney, DevEx, September 23, 2015

“Big Ideas@Berkeley Winners Visualize an End to Cervical Cancer” by Carlo David, Blum Center for Developing Economies, August 3, 2015

“Alice Agogino (Dev Eng Chair): Trailblazer in Mechanical Engineering” by Tamara Straus, Blum Center for Developing Economies, July 1, 2015

“Beyond Providing Clean Water: A Profile of Development Engineer S. Imran Ali” by Tamara Straus, Blum Center for Developing Economies, March 1, 2015

“Eat.Think.Design: A Public Health Course for the Startup Generation,” by Tamara Straus. Blum Center for Developing Economies, February 24, 2015.

“Engineering improvements for the world,” by Lina Nilsson and Shankar Sastry. Washington Post, October 5, 2014.

“Toward a New Field of Development Engineering: Linking Technology Design to the Demands of the Poor,” by Lina Nilsson, Temina Madon, and S. Shankar Sastry. Procedia Engineering 78 (2014) 3–9.

“Cook Stove Case Study,” Berkeley Engineering, November 7, 2014

“Launching Dev Eng,” Berkeley Engineering, November 1, 2014

“Defining Development Engineering,” Berkeley Engineering, September 12, 2014

About the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering

What is a Designated Emphasis? A “Designated Emphasis” (DE) is a campus-wide system that provides doctoral students with certification in specialties outside their home discipline, to be added to their doctorates.

The Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering (DE in Dev Eng) is a new interdisciplinary training program for UC Berkeley doctoral students whose dissertation research includes topics related to the application of technology to address the needs of people living in poverty. Students from all departments can apply. Through coursework, research mentoring, and professional development, the program prepares students to develop, pilot, and evaluate technological interventions designed to improve human and economic development within complex, low-resource settings. The DE in Dev Eng in particular serves students across engineering disciplines, quantitative social science disciplines (including public health), business programs, information sciences, and natural sciences. The program builds upon ongoing research in technological innovations, human-centered design, development economics, remote sensing and monitoring, data science, and impact analysis at UC Berkeley. The program is overseen by the Graduate Group in Development Engineering, administered through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and affiliated with:

Blum Center for Developing Economies   Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA)   Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions (TIER)   Development Impact Lab (DIL)

This constellation of affiliates – through DIL – is a cornerstone partner in USAID’s Global Development Lab. As such, Dev Eng students are connected to an ecosystem of researchers and practitioners at Berkeley and also have access to a dynamic global network. To review the development engineering research projects sponsored by DIL, we encourage you to explore the DIL Technology Portfolio.

New Food-Water-Energy Concentration in DevEng: InFEWS

Poor communities often face extreme challenges accessing nutritious food, clean and reliable energy, and safe water, which will be amplified with additional climate variability, population growth, stress on infrastructures, and pollution in the future. A new concentration of Development Engineering, called Innovation at the nexus of Food, Water, and Energy Systems (InFEWS), has been launched with support from the National Science Foundation.

InFEWS supports a new generation of students working at the critical juncture of food, energy, and water. These students will master the interdisciplinary skills needed to create actionable and impactful research that is transferable from the lab to the field at scale and to ultimately make real lives better. See more about the program at infews.berkeley.edu.

Requirements

Course Work | Electives | Qualifying Exams | Final Report | Dissertation | Normative Time Impact

 

Course Work

The Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering requires five courses (two core courses plus three electives). The course requirements are in addition to, but may overlap with, the Ph.D. course requirements of your home department. There are no formal pre-requisites to apply for the DE in Dev Eng, however a certain level of experience with quantitative analysis is necessary to succeed in the core course (roughly equivalent to Stats 121).  All course work for the DE should be taken for a letter grade.

The two core courses are:

1) Dev Eng C200: Design, Evaluate and Scale Development Technologies (3 units)

Note: This course is being co-taught by Professors Ashok Gadgil and Jennifer Walske this fall 2016. (link to Dev Eng C200 syllabus for the 2014 class is here)

Dev Eng C200 is co-taught each fall term by one technologist and one social scientist. Students in the Dev Eng DE must complete this course before their qualifying exams. Professors from the pool of faculty in the Graduate Group in Development Engineering rotate as course instructors. The course is offered for three units credit as Dev Eng C200, Mech Eng C200 or MBA 290T. Master’s students will be permitted to take the core course as space permits and with permission of the instructors. Dev Eng 200 is organized around analysis and application of case studies by multidisciplinary student teams according to three thematic modules:

  • Understanding the Problem, Context, and Needs (Weeks 1-5) explores, via human-centered design processes, the integration of quantitative and qualitative needs assessment techniques in the process of prototype design
  • Prototyping Solutions (Weeks 6-8) explores methods of low and medium fidelity prototyping with attention to hypothesis testing and data evaluation in an iterative continuum.
  • Taking It to the Field (Weeks 8-13) extends this iterative process with examination of pilot tests in the lab and field, technologies for monitoring and testing, business modeling, impact evaluation, and scaling.

2) Dev Eng 210: Development Engineering Research and Practice Seminar (1-2 units)

This course provides Dev Eng students with a context and community within which their research projects can be refined and developed. The seminar focuses on work-in-progress presentations by students, post doctoral scholars, and faculty within the DIL ecosystem.  The research seminar can be taken before or after the qualifying examination, and students can take it more than once. (Current Spring 2017 speaker schedule here)

 

Dev Eng Electives

In addition to these two core courses, students must take three electives from at least two of the three thematic modules within the Dev Eng program. The three modules are: Project Design; Evaluation Techniques and Methods for Measuring Social Impact; and Technology Development. Of the three electives, only one can be from the student’s home department. Students are encouraged to take one elective prior to the qualifying examination, but this is not required.

Module 1: Problem Identification and Project Design
This module includes topics such as human-centered design, participant feedback, project management, needs and usability testing.

Click to show eligible courses

 

Module 2: Evaluation Techniques and Methods for Measuring Social Impact

This module includes classes spanning topics such as large data analytics, statistical analysis for impact assessment, and design of field experiments. It also includes coursework on sustainability and scaling of projects, and on the broader impact on people and communities.

Click to show eligible courses

 

Module 3: Development Technologies (contextualized technologies, sensors, data collection, data mining, and analysis)

This modules spans work on prototyping and technology R&D, as well as the use of novel technologies to evaluate interventions.

Click to show eligible courses

 

Qualifying Exams

All students must apply and be accepted to the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering at least one semester before their qualifying examination. At least one faculty member of the Graduate Group in Development Engineering must participate in the qualifying examination committee, and will evaluate the exam from relevant perspectives. Satisfactory performance on the qualifying examination for the Ph.D. will be judged according to the established rules in the student’s home department.

Note: If you are a student interested in development engineering research but none of your faculty advisors / committee members are in the Graduate Group in Development Engineering, consider encouraging one of them to apply for membership in the Graduate Group in Development Engineering. They should contact Chair Alice Agogino.

 

Final Report for Designated Emphasis

When all course work and designated emphasis requirements have been completed, this final report must be submitted to the Graduate Student Affairs Officer in 750 Davis Hall for verification of completion of the designated emphasis at the latest one month prior to your filing the dissertation. You can download the final report here.

 

Dissertation

The dissertation must contain themes relevant to the field of Development Engineering (e.g. technology for economic and social development). The student’s Dissertation Committee must include at least one member of the Graduate Group in Development Engineering who can evaluate the dissertation from relevant perspectives.

Note: If you are a student interested in development engineering research but none of your faculty committee members are in the Graduate Group in Development Engineering, consider encouraging one of them to apply for membership in the Graduate Group in Development Engineering. They should contact Chair Alice Agogino.

 

Normative Time Impact

The Graduate Division maintains a policy that, if a student enrolls in a designated emphasis, no adjustments will be made to the Normative Time of the student’s major Ph.D. program.  However, there is flexibility in the Dev Eng sequence requirements to allow for differing requirements in participating departments. The core introductory course, Design, Evaluate and Scale Development Technologies, must be taken prior to the qualifying examination, but the required research seminar can be taken before or after the qualifying examination. It is also expected that at least one of the electives, but not all, will be taken prior to the qualifying examination.

Advising

The DE in Dev Eng provides both faculty and staff advising support. The Development Engineering Faculty Advisors are:

  • Dan Fletcher (Bioengineering)
  • Clair Brown (Economics)

The Development Engineering Graduate Student Affairs Officer is based in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering:

Shelley Okimoto
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
750 Davis Hall
okimoto@ce.berkeley.edu
(510)643-8944

Have questions about the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering and about the field in general? For more information over email, phone, or an in person meeting, please contact:

Maryanne McCormick (mmccormick@berkeley.edu)
or
Sophi Martin (sophi@berkeley.edu)

Applying to the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering

Students must apply at least one semester before their Ph.D. qualifying examination. Admission to the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering is determined by the Dev Eng Faculty Advisors on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. Candidates are encouraged to apply early in their degree, to maximize benefits from participation in the Dev Eng community.

Before applying, interested Ph.D. students are required to arrange a consultation meeting with one of the Development Engineering Faculty Advisors (Dan Fletcher or Clair Brown) and it is recommended that students also speak with the Development Engineering Graduate Student Affairs Officer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Shelley Okimoto).

For initial inquiries about the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering and about the field in general, students can contact dev.eng@berkeley.edu for more information over email, phone, or an in person meeting.

After initial consultation meetings, a candidate must submit an application packet (see below) via email to the relevant Dev Eng Faculty Advisor, to the Development Engineering Chair (Alice Agogino, agogino@berkeley.edu), and the Development Engineering Graduate Student Affairs Officer (Shelley Okimoto, okimoto@ce.berkeley.edu). The application packet must contain:

  1. Application for Admission to the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering (download PDF application here)
  2. Letter of intent summarizing research interests and any educational or employment background in issues related to development economics or development engineering
  3. Letter of recommendation from a member of the Development Engineering faculty graduate group (or the student’s graduate advisor)
  4. Graduate Petition for Change of Major or Degree Goal. This Graduate Division Form officially communicates your interest in adding the Designated Emphasis to your degree. (Download the Petition here)

Faculty

Graduate Group in Development Engineering

Charisma Acey
Assistant Professor
City and Regional Planning

Alice Agogino (Chair of DevEng, Executive Committee Member)
Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Sara Beckman
Senior Lecturer and Earl F. Cheit Faculty Fellow
Haas School of Business

Joshua Blumenstock
Assistant Professor
School of Information

Eric Brewer (Executive Committee Member)
Professor
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Clair Brown (Executive Committee Member)
Professor Emeritus
Economics

Jenna Burrell
Associate Professor
School of Information

John Canny
Paul and Stacy Jacobs Distinguished Professor of Engineering
Computer Science/EECS

Jack Colford
Professor
Public Health

Dan Fletcher (Co-Graduate Advisor)
Purnendu Chatterjee Chair in Engineering Biological Systems
Bioengineering

Ashok Gadgil (Executive Committee Member)
Andrew and Virginia Rudd Family Foundation Professor of Safe Water and Sanitation
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Paul Gertler
Li Ka Shing Foundation Chair in Health Management
Haas School of Business

M. Paz Gutierrez  (Co-Graduate Advisor)
Associate Professor of Architecture

Daniel Kammen
Professor in the Energy and Resources Group and Public Policy
Director of Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL)

David Levine (Executive Committee Member)
Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Chair in Business Administration
Haas School of Business

Kara Nelson
Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Kameshwar Poolla
Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Matthew Potts
Associate Professor, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
College of Natural Resources

Michael Ranney
Professor
Graduate School of Education

Elisabeth Sadoulet
Professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics
College of Natural Resources

Shankar Sastry
Dean, College of Engineering
Faculty Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies

S. Leonard Syme
Professor Emeritus, Epidemiology and Community Health

Laura Tyson
Professor of Business Administration and Economics
Haas School of Business

Catherine Wolfram
Cora Jane Floor Professor of Business Administration
Haas School of Business

David Zilberman
Professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics
College of Natural Resources

Contact Us

Have questions about the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering and about the field in general? For more information over email, phone, or an in person meeting, please contact:

dev.eng@berkeley.edu

Specific points of contact:
Maryanne McCormick (mmccormick@berkeley.edu)
Sophi Martin (sophi@berkeley.edu)