First Advisor

Evan Thomas

Date of Publication

Summer 7-31-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Feedback control systems -- Design, Biomass stoves -- Rwanda -- Case studies, Indoor air pollution, Human behavior



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 67 pages)


Household air pollution (HAP) is responsible for almost 4 million premature deaths every year, a burden that is primarily carried by women and children in developing countries. The mortality and morbidity impact of HAP can be significantly alleviated through clean cookstove interventions. However, for these interventions to be effective, the new intervention stove must be a substantially cleaner technology and adoption should be high and sustained over time.

Woody biomass is the fuel of choice in many developing communities, and contributes substantially to HAP. Several organizations have launched clean cooking interventions to address this issue. However, the majority of those interventions do not address adoption related challenges, that they often face.

This thesis explores previous studies on Human-Centered Design (HCD) and the impact of feedback and data access on behavior change. It details a HCD process and methodology applied during the design process of an air quality feedback system, to improve adoption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cookstoves in Rwanda. The feedback system is intended to provide real-time air quality information to stove users and potentially encourage them to abandon traditional biomass cookstoves in favor of the cleaner LPG stoves.


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