Garone, Peter. 2017. Exploring the Use of Desktop 3D Printing for Microfluidics Prototyping. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
Biology and General
Despite the tremendous impact of 3D printing on mechanical and design prototypes the use of 3D printers in microfluidics has been extremely limited. The current methods of constructing microfluidic devices use relatively complex, multistep processes that require the construction of molds (soft lithography) or photomasks (IC style and paper microfluidics). 3D printing has the potential to create microfluidic devices in a single step- dramatically reducing the time from design to the completion of a working prototype, as well as avoiding the large overhead cost associated with a large scale manufacturing process. This work takes a close look at the use of one method of 3D printing called Fused Filament Manufacturing (FFM) to create microfluidic prototypes. This work investigates the barriers that have prevented the wider use of this method in microfluidics and how these barriers may be overcome. The components of this study include a look at the design of microfluidic devices for 3D printing, the resolution and design limitations of 3D printing using FFM, and the printing of basic microfluidic components. Finally, as an example of using 3D printing for microfluidics, a prototype device that could be used to detect Sarin gas (a nerve agent) in blood is designed and constructed.
Park, Daekwon. 2016. Multiscale Thermal Design for Buildings. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Architecture, Engineering, Materials Science, and Environmental Sciences
This dissertation investigates the principles, processes, and strategies to develop multiscale material systems for buildings that interact with heat in novel ways. The overall theoretical framework consists of (1) utilizing the multiscale configuration of biological material systems as the principle for the design of building element; (2) using the shape and size of heat flow as the key parameter for the design and optimization of the building elements; and (3) applying the principles of materials and material processes for selecting and configuring the material systems. This framework is examined in Part I through literature review and case studies; and implemented in Part II through a series of experiments for the designing, prototyping and testing a thermally augmented building envelope system. The results of the analytical model and the physical testing show strong correlations which validate the usage of the analytical model in the thermal optimization of building elements at a wide range of geometric and temperature variations. To evaluate the performance of the system standards including the recommended U-value for building envelopes and the targeted ventilation and heat recovery rate per occupant is used. The overall dissertation can provide architects with the essential knowledge and strategies for developing thermally augmented building elements. Similarly, the research can also inform the scientists and engineers on the thermal design constraints and opportunities relating to building applications. Although this research is focused on heat as the key environmental factor, the theoretical framework can be extended to other factors such as light and sound.
Wessman, Robert E. 2016. Organizing to Innovate: Workshopping New Product Concepts at Panorama Education. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Education, Technology, Business, and Tests and Measurements
Leaders of education organizations must determine how to positively impact students, staff, and families while ensuring organizational strength. Innovative leaders and entrepreneurs seek to develop and roll out new ideas to dramatically advance students’ achievement. However, the need to innovate does not supersede the need to execute on a core business while maintaining high levels of quality; this paradox makes it challenging to know how to allocate resources and people toward innovation. In this capstone, I describe and analyze my experiences leading a strategic project for supporting innovation and experimentation at Panorama Education, an education technology company focused on school improvement through data analytics. I developed a framework for promoting innovation, workshopping, and experimentation in order to support the organization to make evidence-driven product decisions. I describe the theoretical foundations for the framework and literature documenting the leadership challenge of implementing it at a fast-paced, rapidly growing organization. I argue that by deliberately allocating resources and effort toward ideating and designing, aligning to company strategy and vision, and prototyping and testing, a growing organization can prepare for ongoing innovation and adaptability. I also find that change management on the part of the implementer is a necessary part of innovative change, so I reflect on my successes and challenges as a leader developing and implementing the new system at Panorama Education.