UROP Openings

Have a UROP opening you would like to submit?

Please fill out the form.

Submit your UROP opening

Build-It Modules for an Energy Project in Northern Uganda




EC: Edgerton Center

Faculty Supervisor:

Amy Smith

Faculty email:


Apply by:

30 September, 2020



Project Description

D-Lab is working on a project in Northern Uganda to create a local innovation ecosystem, through which scalable, sustainable energy solutions are developed together with members of refugee and host communities living in the Rhino Camp refugee settlement. The project seeks to inclusively address energy issues in displacement settings, leveraging the innovative potential and deep local knowledge of affected community members, avoiding the need for larger-scale, costly top-down interventions, and improving the way humanitarian aid is delivered. The ultimate objectives of the project are: 1) to achieve proof of concept that refuge-led innovation and co-design can lead to solutions more culturally and contextually appropriate and therefore more easily adopted. 2) to leverage the innovative potential of refugees and host community members to design sustainable energy solutions; these solutions can take the form of behavioral change, energy efficiency measures, a technology prototype or an adaptation of an existing technology. This UROP will develop short, hands-on modules that can add to the library of activities that can be offered at the innovation centers to strengthen participants prototyping skills. The modules should expose participants to key fabrication skills while producing a useful energy technology. This UROP includes identifying appropriate activities, building, testing and refining the activities, and then presenting the instructions in a standard format. Once the modules are completed, they may be adapted for use in other D-Lab sites, including Colombia, Ghana, Timor Leste and India. Interested candidates should email d-lab-humanitarian-innovation@mit.edu with a brief explanation of why they are interested in this project and describe any relevant previous experience.


Applicants should have some experience with off-grid energy technologies as well as a passion for hands-on education.