Developing a Reliable and Economical Web Portal for Meals on Wheels; An Analysis of Actors in the Nutrition Policy-Making Process

Naddoni, Kevin, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Ibrahim, Ahmed, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

Over the course of this year, there were two projects in the following portfolio, one technical, and one sociotechnical, that both addressed aspects of the same subject manner; the necessity to consume healthy, satisfying food in order to live. My STS Research Paper focuses extensively on the development of nutrition policy, in order to best educate the consumer on the various influences in policy development. My Capstone Project entailed developing a new meal delivery system to aid Meals on Wheels (MOW) mission to pack, label, and distribute food to needy citizens. While both projects focus on different aspects of food in people’s lives, they are related by the engineering necessity to understand how both systems work.

In both of these projects, I was required to analyze the different components of each system in order to either inform the common citizen or improve the system itself. In the case of “An Analysis Of Actors In The Nutrition Policy-Making Process,” the primary research focus was to determine the extent of different actors in policy, through the Actor-Network Theory framework, which relies on exploring relationships between different components in hopes of better understanding how the overall system works. Like in my STS research, in “Developing a Reliable and Economical Web Portal for Meals on Wheels,” I investigated the different components and actors in the current MOW portal system, in order to fully address the current portal’s problems and to better design our replacement for future use. By focusing on the previous design decisions that had left the portal in this opaque, cumbersome state, my team was able to ultimately improve the meal-distribution process. The similar relationship analysis between both projects is a clear example of how engineering development can be performed like research analysis.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
nutrition policy, actor network theory, policy development, meal delivery system

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Ahmed Ibrahim
STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook
Technical Team Members: Michael Benos, Alexander Hicks, Kyle Leisure, Kevin Naddoni, Maxwell Patek, Joshua Santana, Nathanael Strawser

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