Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

John Gershenson

Advisor 2

Michele Miller

Committee Member 2

Kari Henquinet


Growing international demand for quinoa in recent years has led to increased production throughout its South American range, including the Peruvian Andes. Small-scale farmers, who are among the poorest Peruvians, are increasingly growing quinoa for both food security and economic benefit; however, manual harvesting activities, such as threshing, are labor-intensive and time-consuming. This report documents the design, construction and operation of prototype quinoa thresher in a rural village in Northern Peru. In addition, an overview of the history and evolutionary approach to design for the developing world is presented. From this overview, a series of criteria is considered for the design of desirable products for the developing world, including iterative improvement of prototypes. Finally, through the lens these criteria, improvements upon the prototype quinoa thresher are proposed to enhance the likelihood of adoption by Peruvian farmers.