Faculty Advisor

Krueger, Robert

Faculty Advisor

Rao, Pratap M.

Abstract

The use of mercury in artisanal and small scale gold mining in Ghana poses serious environmental and health risks. The purpose of this project is twofold; to improve safety by prototyping a device to reduce mercury exposure, and to document our novel co-design approach. We formed partnerships with miners, community members, and tradespeople in the town of Osino, Ghana through participant observation and collaborative design workshops. We prototyped three iterations of retorts, blending our technical expertise with miners’ local expertise. By allowing miners to lead the stages of design and grounding our partnership in mutual respect and sharing of ideas, our partners recognized their own capacity to shape their own outcomes. Future efforts can include further technical and field testing to improve device function and manufacturability and an implementation scheme to expand access to these devices.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

2020-03-25

Major

Chemical Engineering

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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