Appropriate Technology: Sound solutions to real problems
Appropriate Technology reflects an approach to technological development, characterized by creative and sound engineering, that recognizes the social, environmental, political, economic, as well as, technical aspects of a proposed technological solution to a problem facing a society. Generally appropriate technologies are smaller scale technologies, that are ecologically and socially benign, affordable, and often powered by renewable energy. The field is an interdisciplinary one drawing from the physical and social sciences as well as Engineering, Architecture, and Technology. Areas of interest include energy conversion systems, waste and water management, community and shelter design, technology assessment, small scale production systems and technology transfer.
Success in this field would require a strong background in a wide variety of technological areas. Individuals should be committed to making the world a better one through the development of improved technological systems. Concern about environmental and social degradation would be strong motivating factors. Individuals should be able to solve a wide variety of problems and work independently as well as with groups.
This concentration provides the most general technological background that the technology department offers. Students will develop knowledge and skill in many technological areas; including drafting and design, wood and metal working, computers, architecture, construction, graphic arts as well as renewable energy technologies, energy efficient solar building design and construction, waste management, research methods and contemporary technological problems facing society. This background would be useful in many fields of endeavor.
Students could pursue many careers with an Appropriate Technology background. These could include careers in the renewable energy field; energy management, designing, building and/or maintaining renewable energy equipment, work in solid waste or recycling industry, designing and building sustainable buildings, selling AT products, manufacturing AT products, working for utility companies or government research labs, or sustainable development work in developing countries.
Students could pursue graduate education in Architecture, Education, or in Interdisciplinary programs like the Science, Technology and Society programs.
A minor in AT would provide students with many technological skills useful in many areas. Students in business, Sustainable Development, Geography and Planning, Biology and Physics have found it beneficial to take an AT minor.
Dr. Dennis Scanlin