STEM V: Innovation and Appropriate Technology in Africa

18-20 October, 2019

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 


A conference intended, in part, as a memorial and tribute to Dr. Moses Kizza Musaazi, late of Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, a serial inventor and master of the “Appropriate Technology” approach that serves as the central conference theme. For more information on Dr. Musaazi and the conference theme, see below. 

University of Michigan undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to submit an abstract to present work broadly related to systems, processes, and product innovation and technology with application in Africa. Abstract submission guidelines are attached to this email: please read & follow these carefully. Selected projects will be presented in poster format during the upcoming STEM V Conference, which includes two poster sessions (one undergraduate and one graduate). There will be prizes for best undergraduate and best graduate poster submission.


Key Dates

Poster Abstract Submission Deadline:
11:59 pm EST, Fri September 27th, 2019

Notification of Acceptance: Fri October 4th

Registration Deadline: Fri October 11th

Poster Session 1 (Graduate): Fri, October 18th, 5:30-7 pm

Poster Session 2 (Undergraduate): Sat, October 19th, 11 am-1 pm


Abstract Submission Guidelines

The STEM-V Conference abstract format is one page in length including acknowledgements and references. Any submissions longer than one page will automatically be rejected. Carefully follow the instructions provided on the attached template. Margins are 0.75 in on top, bottom, right and left. Save your abstract from Word into a PDF before uploading.

Abstracts should be submitted here by 11:59 pm EST, Friday September 27th, 2019

Additional questions? Please email ASC staff at


Background on STEM V and Moses Muzaazi

Dr. Musaazi has been a source of inspiration to the STEM-Africa initiative at Michigan and the African Studies Center since before even our founding eleven years ago. He has been a long- term collaborator on experiences for U-M students, especially undergraduates, who participated in joint appropriate technology projects with his team.

“Appropriate Technology” in our context refers to efforts of scientists and engineers to help people on the Continent provide products and services for themselves from locally sourced and led efforts, as an alternative to foreign suppliers whose products generally involve significant overhead in the international market. Appropriate technology in Dr. Muzaazi’s sense is based on sound scientific and engineering fundamentals, and usually involves rethinking technical problems to come up with alternatives to the standard solutions. The emphasis is on close proximity of the engineer/scientist to the user population and a resulting intimate understanding of what their technical problems are. It is also based on a philosophy of creativity and “less can be more”, where designing solutions with, say, severe materials sourcing or distribution constraints, can be more challenging, but where the results can be more transformative for the user population and more rewarding for the engineer/scientist.

Dr. Musaazi was driven by a concern to empower communities, to unlock their creative potential, circumventing systemic hurdles to such potential from the global marketplace or inequitable local mores. He was particularly sensitive to the problems of young women in developing societies whose communities’ traditions may not have adequately valued their advancement or their potential contributions to their societies.