Last year (2009), students wrote a number of interesting terms papers on different topics in the field of technology and operations management (TOM). With their permission, I am posting several of the papers here. Their research is valuable in itself, and can provide models for others.
MPESA – Cash transfer in Kenya using the cell phone network. By Ben Jacques and Chase Stafford. A good diagosis and set of suggestions for MPESA, a breakthrough banking system in Kenya.
Recharge RIMAC – Energy conservation in the UCSD athletic building. By David Almeida, Daniel Klubis, Cameron McKenzie, & Olivia Patterson. Recharge RIMAC Final
Fish distributors – a field project in a local company. They identified several opportunities to improve, including one that will save more than $100,000 per year. They had some very vivid pictures, which we had to remove to preserve anonymity. Pine Bluff Fish company by Preston Sharp and Kim Ascoli.
Product development course: I’ve been teaching a course on product development for more than 10 years. On average, one project a year has excellent commercial potential.
WeGo Business Plan_Stroller_Final – The students in my product development class in 2005 came up with a good idea for a new kind of stroller! I just priced a jogging stroller at REI – $350! My students’ idea is a lot cheaper, and useful in a very different situation. Authors: Jeff Bishop, Shaun CoughlinFan Ding, Tim Hwang, and Luke Nickerman. There are many other good ideas from this class over the years, of course, but I don’t have permission to post them publicly.
Plant wizard team. This team developed a much cleaner way to fertilize home plants. Plant Wizard contract book is a business plan and description of the technology. Plant Wizard case study PDW 2004 describes the work they did to develop the product.
Grocery Gopher. A cart for towing groceries and laundry, for people who live in apartment buildings. This product was early to market; since the project in 2003, many companies had the same idea and brought out similar products. I think theirs is still a better design than most of what is on the market. GG Contract Book comments
Safewater: a home-scale water sterilizer for urban residents in countries like Mexico. GESAFEWATER CASE comments