IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Technology for the Benefit of Humanity | Virtual – October 19-23, 2021

Workshops 2021

GHTC 2021 will feature a set of four interactive workshops on Tuesday October 19, from 9AM-Noon. The workshops are included with full conference registration.


Frugal Innovation and the Design Thinking Process

By: Frugal Innovation Hub (SoE of Santa Clara University)  and Latin America Frugal Innovation Network

October 19th, 2021 – 9AM to 12 PM (PST)

Despite the advancements in water purification systems, water remains inaccessible to 1.1 million people globally; moreover, 5.000 people die worldwide every day due to illnesses associated with unclean water (OCDE).

Very commonly, socio-technological projects such as water purification projects fail to positively impact a population due to the lack of understanding of the social ecosystem where the need emerges from. Frugal Innovation is a frame of work ideal for engineers interested in improving the sustainability and replicability of their solutions by utilizing a human-centric design approach and by visualizing non-technical factors that directly impact the design process of your solution.

Join Santa Clara University’s Frugal Innovation Hub and the Latin America Frugal Innovation Network ESAN University (Peru) on learning how to use Frugal Innovation and the Design Thinking Process to help solve a real-world water challenge in Perú at a local scale.

Workshop outcomes:

  • Get participants familiarized with the Design Thinking Process, Frugal Innovation and Frugal Design
  • Push participants to apply and design in a practical manner an engineering solution to a social challenge
  • Expose participants to social, economic and environmental factors that can impact the sustainability and replicability of their technological solution


  • Engage the participants with the challenge through documentation
  • Design a solution using prototype/flow diagram tools
  • Teamwork discussions
  • Business elevator pitch
  • Sharktank panel (investment challenge)

Number of participants: 25 (5 groups of 5) 

Level and technical skills expected from the attendees: Water as many other global challenges is an interdisciplinary challenge within engineering. To be part of this workshop, all you need is to be ready to learn a new approach from the social sciences and business disciplines to reframe socio-technological challenges.

Application of IoT During Pre- and Post-COVID 19 Pandemic (A Humanitarian Services Workshop)

October 19th, 2021 – 9AM to 12 PM (PST)

IoT is a rapidly evolving research area with unprecedented growth potential in application domains that range from environmental monitoring, manufacturing, energy management, healthcare, home automation to transportation and infrastructure management. The IoT revolution is reshaping modern healthcare solutions for implementing technology and economic social prospectus. The current ongoing global challenge of the COVID 19 caused by the novel severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus effected global health crisis.

Scientists and medical doctors embarked on a race to produce safe and effective coronavirus vaccines in record time. IoT innovator and engineers can help these scientists to enable faster track of monitoring quality and logistics of the vaccination supplies. As per Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) quote: “Heat, Cold or light exposure can damage vaccines, resulting in reduced potency. Once potency is lost, it cannot be restored”. The CDC states that improper storage – mainly temperature conditions – is the most common cause for loss of vaccine potency and effectiveness they experience.

This workshop provides theory and tutorials on how to build IoT systems to monitor temperature of vaccination at all stages from vaccine manufacturer, and shipment logistics up to all the way to the last stop of delivery at hospitals and clinics. Participants have an opportunity to learn complete design aspects of IoT solutions for monitoring temperature at all levels as described above. The workshop also intended to learn in designing IoT enabled solutions for hospital/clinic settings for access to information of vaccine storage conditions, route information and patient dashboard to increase trust and reliability between patients and facilities administering the vaccine. The workshop also covers the topics of how to send real time measured data from temperature sensor to web enabled SMS services, PM tools and social media networking platform such as twitter.

The learning objectives of this workshop are as described below:

  • Learn building blocks for constructing an IoT project
  • Learn various protocols for IoT platforms
  • Write python code and firmware for reading sensor temp values
  • Learn IoT connectivity protocols from sensors to the cloud
  • Evaluate temp readings at all stages of supply chain for COVID 19 vaccination use case.
  • Practice data analytics within the Thingspeak IoT platform
  • Utilize cloud features to send data to twitter, cellular web platforms (SMS messaging) and other project management tools.
  • Develop package and publish real time values to the local health organization/ community
  • Create a user-friendly dashboard to monitor the output parameters as required by the CDC and health officials.


Shivakumar (Shiva) Mathapathi has over 25 years of experience in product development, design, and faculty. Shiva is a seasoned technologist, instructor and practitioner on the Internet of Things (IoT) with extensive experience as lead faculty, lab practice and mentorship in executing smart city, smart agriculture, assisted living and other IoT-related projects. Shiva has contributed to build the ecosystem and establish innovation pathways for the OpenIoT project, a blueprint and awarded Open Source project in the Internet of Things for Smart Cities sponsored by the European Commission.


Dr. Farid Farahmand is currently the Chair of the Engineering Science Department (Electrical Engineering) at Sonoma State University in California, U.S.A. He is also the director of Advanced Internet Technology in the Interests of Society Laboratory. Since 2018 he has been a visiting faculty at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Prior to his academic position at Sonoma State, Dr. Farahmand worked as the research scientist at Alcatel-Lucent Corporate Research and was involved in development of terabit optical routers. Farid has received multiple Fulbright Fellowships, and he has been a Fulbright Scholar since 2014. Dr. Farahmand holds multiple international patents, numerous reference conference articles and journal publications, and several book chapters, on the subjects of wireless communications, optical networking, green networking, and delay tolerant networks.

Fundamentals of Off-Grid Electrical Systems

October 19th, 2021 – 9AM to 12 PM (PST)

This half-day tutorial covers the contextual, technical, and practical implementation aspects of off-grid electrical systems in developing countries. These off-grid systems include mini-grids, micro-grids, energy kiosks, solar home systems and solar lanterns. System architectures and components, including small-scale solar, wind, hydro, biomass and conventional generation sets, batteries and converters are covered. The mini/micro-grid design process is discussed. Pre-implementation best practices, including site assessment and considerations for business model development are discussed. The instructor draws upon his firsthand experience and contemporary research to provide attendees with the foundational knowledge needed to implement or study off-grid systems. The tutorial is based on the book “Off-Grid Electrical Systems in Developing Countries”.


Prof. Henry Louie, Seattle University

Dr. Henry Louie received his B.S.E.E. degree from Kettering University in 2002, his M.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004 and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2008. He is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seattle University. In 2015 Dr. Louie was Fulbright Scholar to Copperbelt University in Kitwe, Zambia. He is the President and Co-founder of KiloWatts for Humanity, a non-profit organization providing off-grid electricity access and business opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Louie is an Associate Editor for Energy for Sustainable Development and is a founding member of the IEEE PES Working Group on Sustainable Energy Systems for Developing Communities. Dr. Louie is recognized as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer for his expertise on energy poverty. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and was a registered professional engineer in Zambia.   He previously served as Vice President of Membership & Image of the IEEE Power & Energy Society.

IEEE Microgrid Standards For Developing Countries – TBA

October 19th, 2021 – 9AM to 12 PM (PST)

IEEE Standards Association