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Title:Rural-urban contextual data triangulation for international engineering project work
Author(s):Timmons, Alexandra Christina
Advisor(s):Witmer, Ann-Perry; Rodríguez, Luis F
Contributor(s):Lleras, Christy L
Department / Program:Engineering Administration
Discipline:Agricultural & Biological Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):contextual engineering
international engineering
data triangulation
Abstract:Literature in the field of international engineering indicates that project failure is commonly a direct result of the exclusion of the community during important project and design decisions. This failure appears to be especially prominent for projects attempted in rural communities. The current emerging solution to address this community exclusion and resulting project failure is the application of contextual engineering. This involves a thorough and purposeful on-site study of community conditions with particular attention to social and physical conditions. However, this process is quite costly and time-intensive for foreign engineers to engage with and in times of global travel restrictions, it becomes impossible. This research acknowledges that the consideration of contextual factors is crucial to project success and studies the potential for a community's contextual conditions to be observed from abroad as a way to keep projects operational in situations where travel is not feasible. While rural community-specific data is largely uncommon, urban-level data is examined and interpolation is performed. By selecting the three urban cities, where data is plentiful, in closest proximity by travel distance to the rural community in question and weighting them accordingly, it is hypothesized that a contextual engineering data triangulation analysis can be performed to approximate the conditions of the rural community. This process is tested through a case study of rural Tikonko, Sierra Leone and the results are compared against known community condition data gathered on-site. The results highlight the yet irreplaceable need for on-site interactions while still acknowledging potential avenues of usefulness for this type of remote data collection, as well as future work pathways.
Issue Date:2021-04-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Alexandra Timmons
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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