March 2020 archive

Blog #9

  1. List five compelling take-aways from the Art of the Start.


  1. Learning to create our own “MAT” – Milestones, Assumptions, and Tasks. This format has allowed us to better understand our goals within the project and as a team. MAT has done this by helping us better divide the tasks needed to get done and making sure the tasks that we accomplish are better geared towards our overall milestones, helping us work more effectively on the project as a team.
  2. The overall topic of “making meaning” was really compelling for us because it relates directly to our project work within the GSIF and how our product has the ultimate goal of increasing the quality of life for coconut farmers in the Philippines. By having the overall goal of increasing their income through a better coconut drying method and system, we found it compelling that our venture’s main focus was to ultimately “make meaning”.
  3. The overall concept and idea that the 10/20/30 (10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 pt. font) rule articulates helped us with crafting our upcoming presentation. Although we have to present over five minutes, and not ten, the overall ideas of keeping the slides concise, with specifics on problem, solution, business model, etc.., and the underlying message of keeping a presentation short and to the point helped us navigate how we wanted to approach presenting. The “30” part also helped to remind us that words should be limited, and instead helpful visuals should be implemented.
  4. Being niche was also a point that Guy Kawasaki emphasized, which we thought was a very important and significant point. The graph that showed us the “ability to provide a unique product or service” and the “value to the customer” was really helpful in terms of helping us rethink our engineering solution and overall business model. In order to separate ourselves from others, we have concluded that having a better, more efficient and effective drying solution and a coop business model will most definitely give us both the ability to provide a unique product or service and a value to the customer.
  5. Adding on to the former point being made, Kawasaki’s slide on defining a business model really helped us understand what is needed to create a more self-sustaining system that would be of benefit for all of our stakeholders. This was especially compelling because this allowed for us to better our idea of the coop business model by being more specific in the systems that would be put in place but also helping us to portray the model simply so others could better understand it. 


  1. Articulate your value propositions for your diverse customer segments. 

In short, we help copra farmers in the Philippines increase their income by creating a faster, efficient, and more effective drying system.

We solve the problem of consistency in copra quality for farmers in the Philippines by creating a system in which farmers can come to a central location to have their copra dried using a faster and more effective drying technique that yields better copra quality. We deliver value in our model’s convenience for farmers, as they do not have to learn to operate the machinery or buy the device themselves, allowing them to dry their coconuts using the machine without experiencing the burden of the high cost of the dryer, and thus reducing risk for the farmers. By placing the plant at a central location between farms, there is high accessibility to the machine as well as reduced risk regarding farmer income due to the method’s all-weather usability. The system is also founded upon a self – sustaining business model, which incorporates a centralized machine, increasing the potential to scale. Farmers will experience less added cost, cheaper prices, and  increased revenue resulting in an improved livelihood. On the buyer’s end, the copra quality will be drastically better and more consistent, allowing them to create higher quality products. In addition, buyer’s will have a centralized location for obtaining copra, resulting in less time wasted, less costs, and therefore better efficiency. 


  1. Discuss your Total Available Market and Total Addressable Market. List all your assumptions and hypothesis


Our total available market is the total population of copra farmers in the Philippines, about 3.5 million. By assuming the bottom-up approach, our total addressable market is 80 percent of coconut farmers within the area of the Philippines.

Week 8 Blog

  1. Summarize and report out on the results of the SKS exercise. 



  • Working more hands on with each other, we were planning on working together to begin prototyping processing techniques (may be unrealistic now given new developments)
  • Keep in better contact with UPD team and other resources on and off campus we can utilize (Maybe assign a communications role to someone)
  • Be more specific in our research efforts (devote our efforts to a common idea)



  • Communicating with each other
  • Weekly debriefs (notes and agendas really help)
  • Focusing our research efforts on copra processing
  • Keep bringing positive energy
  • Stay on top of things as much as possible 



  • Stop researching for the sake of researching, all focus on one pathway, or maybe even like evaluating what we need, what we have, and therefore what pathway we need to go towards
  • In-person meeting → Need to set up a virtual meeting that works for all of us. Make sure everyone is motivated and feels supportive too.
  • Getting snacks for each other when we’re late bc it’s “hard” to know who’s late. Instead, Ami sometimes brings snacks for all us, which is appreciated :)), but now with this remote environment, snacks are going to be less accessible 

2. Develop a detailed Collaboration Plan for your team clearly articulating your Goals (Small g and Big G), Roles,Procedures, and Relationships.



Team Name: COPDRY                                                                            Date: 03/20/2020
Goals Personal goals:


Make as much useful contribution as possible, positively influence the group, create strong relationships, Improve my 

group work skills, research ability, and engineering mindset. Then I hope to use all these personal improvements to make a

social impact that matters.


Become a well-rounded researcher who can advance the knowledge of humanity and at the same time apply my knowledge and experience to make a social impact.

Build life-long friendship with peers at Lehigh and those in the Philippines


Learn how to conduct meaningful, professional research that will help move our project forward. Help to develop a solution that encompasses all aspects of the problem at hand. Improve how I conduct myself in a professional setting (including public speaking and presenting in front of large audiences). Practice and improve designing and engineering skills and build and expand my professional network.


Gain experience in conducting meaningful research and working on an interdisciplinary team. Make valuable contributions to move the project forward and create sustainable impact. Improve my interpersonal skills and develop a new mindset 


Contribute to the project in a meaningful way, understanding my own strengths and weaknesses , and learning how I can efficiently and effectively work within a diverse team. Help to better enforce communications within the team and outside the team, and become a better researcher and writer. Improve my own hard and soft skill sets including communications, and better understanding design thinking, engineering design, and supply chain.

Project Goal:

The project aims to improve copra processing and process streamlining for elevating the livelihoods of copra farmers by generating additional income.

Is our Project Goal scaled to our resources (dreams, materials, skills, differences, etc.) and constraints (assignment, time, skills, etc.)?

As a team, we have the given resources and knowledge needed to design and prototype a device that can better process copra. Unfortunately, due to given circumstances, our access to both each other and the tools required are constraining the timetable for which this project will operate on.  

Since COPRA is a multi-year project, we as a team will lay up a strong foundation so that we can transfer the knowledge to other teams. The hope is that future teams will be able to scale upon the ideas and designs we come up with throughout this year.


Metrics for Success

    • Design, energy efficiency, and sustainability of the processing technique
    • Amount of high-quality copra that can be produced using new methods
    • Amount of additional income that can be generated for copra farmers
    • Scalability and Sustainability of the business model (can we actually get people to use this)
Roles Who is responsible for which deliverables?

  • All of the team members will be responsible for all of the deliverables until further notices regarding the format of the presentations and posters
  • Our project is still in the very early stages, it is likely every group member will be contributing to the same deliverables at this point in time

Which deliverables that require collaboration, subgroups & individual work? Who does each person depend upon to succeed?


  • Presentation – Collaboration
  • Poster for the lehigh expo – Sub group/ Collaboration
  • Preliminary Design Concepts – Sub group/Collaboration
  • Testing Data – Sub group/Individual
  • Final report – Collaboration

Do we need a project manager to coordinate? 

  • Yes, we do need one. However, specific to our group, we decide to rotate our project manager once every three weeks so that everyone has a chance to step up and take responsible for the group’s success
  • We realize the importance of having a manager to help organize and coordinate group work and research, but believe that having a rotating leadership position helps alleviate the stress from one individual
Procedures Decision-making 

  • Consensus, our group has had very few disagreements
    • If consensus can’t be achieved we will default to majority rules/the advice of our project advisor

Effective meetings

  • We’ve conducting weekly meetings (along with multiple weekly sub meetings) to keep everyone on track and updated with all the key information regarding our project
    • Before each meeting we lay out an agenda to increase efficiency of meetings and help steer the conversation in the right direction
    • We write weekly briefs (in accordance with our TE 211 course work) to keep documented records on what work and research we do each week
  • We plan to continue holding these weekly meetings over Zoom at the same time and in the same fashion
  • Keep track of time during meetings
  • At the end of every meeting we make sure to assign weekly work to each group member to ensure that we can hold each other accountable

Meeting roles

  •  During meetings the leader will facilitate the meeting and assign a different scribe for each meeting.
  • The leader role will be rotated every 3 weeks


  • Up until this week we had planned, in person meetings once a week on Fridays from 3:00 – 4:00 PM
    • Given the situation we will transition our weekly meetings to Zoom. They will continue to be held at the same time
Relationships Teamwork

  • Our team has been very agreeable up to this point – we’ve had few disagreements if any
    • Our assumption is that transitioning to video chatting as our primary form of communication will not be a problem
  • We’re all engineers, meaning we all tend to learn through hands on experiences
    • We have backgrounds in Materials Science Engineering, Mechanical Engineerings, Industrial Systems Engineering and Product Design
    • The team also consists of different backgrounds such as athletics, international, cultural, and greek life.
    • We have different interests outside of engineering: make-up and sports, band music, music composition, nature, and chess.

Listening – As team we enter group meetings with an open mindset and are ready listen to each other 

Team Name– Copdry / Copra Processing