Interactive Qualifying Project

Science and technology have the power to change lives and benefit the world. That’s the premise behind the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), an interdisciplinary undertaking that challenges teams of two to four students to take on one of society’s most pressing problems by developing a solution based in technology. More than half of the projects are completed through the Global Perspective Program, at a WPI Project Center in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, or Europe.

Ideas for IQP projects can come from students, faculty members, or external sponsors. Through completing their IQP, WPI graduates better understand, as citizens and as professionals, how their careers affect society at large.

Recently Completed Interactive Qualifying Projects

The Urban Elephant: Sustainable Roles in a Changing Society

  • Laura-Ashley Alegbeleye, '11, Chemical Engineering
  • Emily M. Silva, '11, Biology and Biotechnology
  • Ty N. Tremblay, '11, Robotics Engineering
  • John F. Wyatt, '11, Management Information Systems

Advisors: Professors Thomas Robertson and Brigitte Servatius
This report analyzes the evolving role of elephants in an increasingly technological Thai society. With the rise of technology and the decline of their traditional roles, elephants and their keepers, mahouts, are in danger of losing their place in Thailand. Our project goal was to study these changing roles and propose solutions that will help maintain the importance of elephants in Thai culture. We found that current efforts to both eliminate elephants in Bangkok, as well as give them a place to go, have been met with limited success. We have provided recommendations on how to improve these efforts.

Alternative Cooking Solutions for Monwabisi Park

  • Amanda B. Clark, '11, Chemical Engineering
  • Nina R. Bass, '11, Chemical Engineering
  • David L. Arnold, '11, Management Engineering

Advisors: Professors Scott Jiusto and Joseph Petruccelli
The primary goal of this project was to investigate better stoves for cooking in the informal settlement of Monwabisi Park, located just outside Cape Town, South Africa, that would best satisfy the following criteria: safe, healthful, accessible, inexpensive, socially acceptable, and sustainable. We researched stoves that safely used paraffin and presented two options that best met the criteria to the community. We hope the use of these stoves will improve the health of residents while also decreasing fire hazards throughout the settlement.