Consulting Inventory Redesign: Applying Technical Knowledge in a Project Management Role; A Utilitarian Perspective on Gender-Equal Snow Plowing in Karlskoga, Sweden

Franklin, Emily, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Laugelli, Benjamin, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Vrugtman, Rosanne, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

My technical work and STS research explore the development of new technology and the considerations that must be made during and after that process. My STS research paper utilizes the ethical framework of utilitarianism to analyze the outcomes of implementing gender-equal snow plowing in Karlskoga, Sweden. Traditionally, main roads are cleared first, with less priority given to areas for pedestrians. However, because women on average have different travel patterns than men and are statistically more likely to be pedestrians, the existing snow removal methods disproportionately favored male modes of transportation. After examining these patterns, the municipality of Karlskoga redesigned its approach to snow removal, clearing areas around schools, sidewalks, and bus stops before roads. The implementation of gender-equal snow removal adheres to utilitarian ethics by reducing the number of slippery accidents, being more cost-effective, improving accessibility, and creating a more equitable community.
My technical work reflects on the development of a consulting project database and discusses the application of technical skills in a traditionally non-technical role. Yext, a technology company that offers brand management solutions to businesses, decided to overhaul its outdated Consulting Inventory, a searchable database of completed projects. I worked as a project management intern alongside the software development team, using my knowledge of databases, user interfaces, and Agile development to successfully complete this redesign. In doing so, I learned the importance of communication and documentation to clearly define the requirements and capabilities of the system. My background in computer science also proved to be beneficial when determining what changes would be feasible within our time constraints and how to divide the resulting programming work.
Both my STS and technical works discuss the array of choices made during the technological development process but differ in that my STS research focuses on the ethics of these decisions whereas my technical work reflects on the different aptitudes involved.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
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