Interactive Qualifying Project
A Chance to Solve the World’s Most Challenging Problems
The Interactive Qualifying Project, or IQP as it is known on campus, is WPI's most distinctive academic requirement, and is unique in higher education. The IQP challenges students to address a problem that lies at the intersection of science/technology and social issues and is done under the direct guidance of one or more faculty advisors, usually in teams of 2-4 students.
The objective of this interdisciplinary requirement is to enable WPI graduates to understand, as citizens and as professionals, how their careers will affect the society at large. Generally, these projects involve some analysis of how technology affects, and is affected by, individuals and communities. Many of the projects are proposed by external agencies or organizations. About 60% of all IQPs are completed through the Global Perspective Program at one of WPI's Project Centers in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, or Europe. Learn more about some of the IQPs that our Environmental & Sustainability Studies students have recently completed and how their IQP experiences made a meaningful impact on the lives of people all over the globe.
Environmental and Fire Protection in Marinas and Ports: Development of a Protocol for the Inspection of Marinas and Ports in Costa Rica
- Jacob Bernard Czarnowski, ME
- Shane Connor Sampson, CE
- Hayley R Sandgren, ME
- Ian Stevens Weyburne, EV
WPI students developed a protocol for the Costa Rican Fire Department to inspect marinas and ports for compliance with environmental and fire protection laws. Recent incidents caused significant environmental and property damage at these facilities. Our students compiled relevant laws and regulations on fire protection, researched environmental safety practices, interviewed marina management and fire officials, and assessed conditions at five ports and marinas in Costa Rica. They then created an interactive protocol that inspectors can use to determine compliance with fire prevention laws and help ensure the safe operation of ports and marinas.
As a result, the Costa Rican Fire Department is now able to thoroughly inspect marinas and ports. The inspection protocol helps prevent hazardous incidents by indicating where corrective action must be taken at marinas and ports in order to ensure proper environmental and fire protection. Learn more…
Water Resources Development in Isaan, Thailand: The Social Case for Ban Thad
- Daniel James Bjorge, CS
- Jessica A Booth, ME
- Katrina Marie Crocker, CE
- David R. Warfel, CE
Ban Thad, a village in rural northeastern Thailand, experiences drought and significant economic migration during its dry season. Through their work on this project, WPI students were able to provide recommendations to the Population and Community Development Association ways for improving farmers water access and income generating capabilities. Through community participation and semi-structured interviews, the students determined that a solar-cell powered water distribution system would be socially appropriate for Ban Thad. Learn more…