James Harper, PE, ENV SP

Researcher, Engineer, Teacher

Hi!  I'm James Harper, Civil Engineering PhD student at the University of Colorado Boulder.  I research how human behavior affects fecal sludge management in rural developing communities in Southeast Asia.  I'm a registered Professional Mechanical Engineer and have taught STEM for over 10 years.  I'm from Gilroy, California but currently live in Broomfield, Colorado with my spouse and two dogs.

Research

Pit latrines are used daily by the 3.4 billion people living in rural areas around the world.  When pits fill, options are limited to pit replication or emptying, which are expensive and are rarely performed hygienically in favor of cheaper, less effective, and dangerous methods.  My research describes how human behavior affects fecal sludge management (FSM) in rural developing communities.

  • INTENTIONS WHEN PITS FILL

    The intentions of rural latrine owners towards fecal sludge management of their family's waste are poorly understood and critical to sustainable sanitation in developing communities.  This formative research describes the FSM intentions of rural latrine owners in Cambodia.

  • EFFECTS OF BEHAVIOR ON FSM

    While few studies have investigated how human behavior affects FSM in rural developing communities, a systematic literature review and meta-analysis will be performed to identify what is currently known and unknown about how behavior affects FSM.

  • PAST EFFORTS TO CHANGe FSM BEHAVIORS

    Behavior change techniques have been used to attempt to change FSM behaviors in prior studies.  A systematic literature review and meta-analysis will be performed to identify what behavior change techniques have been successful at changing FSM behaviors.

  • BEHAVIORS WHEN PITS FILL

    What rural latrine owners decide to do when their latrine pits fill is poorly understood but has strong effects on public health and the environment.  This formative research will describe what rural latrine owners in Cambodia do when their pits fill (i.e., their FSM behaviors).

  • MOTIVATORS AND BARRIERS TO FSM BEHAVIORS

    What motivates rural latrine owners to adopt certain FSM behaviors is unknown and must be understood to improve FSM in rural developing communities.  Qualitative methods will be used to identify the motivators and barriers to FSM behaviors, and quantitative methods will be used to describe variations in these behaviors in communities in 10 provinces of Cambodia.

  • BEHAVIOR CHANGE FRAMEWORKS FOR FSM

    Various behavior change frameworks have been developed for different disciplines.  Relevant frameworks will be evaluated for application to FSM in rural developing communities.

  • CHANGING FSM BEHAVIORS

    Having described FSM intentions and behaviors through qualitative and quantitative field studies, and systematic literature reviews, an FSM behavior change campaign will be performed in rural communities of Cambodia.  Effectiveness will be measured over short and long terms using follow-up qualitative surveying.

Highlights

Teaching rated 4.7 out of 5 on RateMyTeacher.com

Edited 600+ scientific articles written by international authors at 4500+ words per hour

Engineering

Practical design to support sustainability


  • Mechanical Design — ...

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  • Energy Design — ...

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  • Engineering Management — ...

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  • Engineering in Developing Communities — ...

    Water treatment systems, confined-masonry buildings, temporary latrine structures...

Projects

Infrastructure development in developing communities, mechanical, electronic, computer coding, and automotive

Testimonials

Proven engineering and teaching

  • Engineers Without Borders USA

    James exceeded expectations on every front when he took over as the Lead Engineer of the EWB-USA San Diego Professional Chapter's India Program.  The dedication, intelligence, and organizational skills he's brought to the Program are inspiring, allowing it to double its scope in less than two years.  It's rare to find a single individual who is both a top notch engineer and communicator.  He can build a local team, help design a complex electro-mechanical system, and coordinate with a large organization, all simultaneously and with equal skill.  He travels in environmentally uncomfortable conditions with no complaints and a big smile on his face.  James seems custom-made to lead engineering projects in the developing world, and I'm honored simply to have played a small part in helping him find something he's so very excellent at.

    PATRICK RICHARDSON, wind technology manager, eDF
  • High Bluff Academy

    Most knowledgeable teacher at my school.  He is actually one of the most funniest and intelligent person I know.  He completely knows his course and ensures that students know everything about the subject before they leave the classroom!

    STUDENT, HIGH BLUFF ACADEMY
  • Quartus Engineering

    James is a pleasure to work with . . . and was able to take on projects with minimal input.  We were able to complete our project in time and under budget.

    DIRK MARCHANT, LEAD ENGINEER,
    QUARTUS ENGINEERING
  • High Bluff Academy

    It was a hard class, but James was professional . . . and gave help when needed.  I would highly recommend James as a teacher.  Thanks, Mr. H.!

    STUDENT, HIGH BLUFF ACADEMY
  • High Bluff Academy

    James was an inspiration to his students in Physics, AP Physics, AP Calculus, Introduction to Coding, and Introduction to Engineering, which he developed.  He was professional and reliable in all of his dealings with students, parents and staff.  James has a very positive attitude and is very approachable.  Its difficult to find an engineer who has such good interpersonal skills.  James is a natural teacher and his enthusiasm for his subject really inspires his students.  He also coached my 6th-grade son's Science Olympiad team for the Bottle Rocket event.  They really looked forward to that class with James, and it was great to see James come down to their level.

    JILL DUOTO, DIRECTOR,
    HIGH BLUFF ACADEMY
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    James was smart, hard working, and handled complex analysis codes with ease. James also has excellent written and oral communication skills.

    PROFESSOR JAN KLEISSL,
    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
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    The most easy-going and one of the most knowledgeable math teachers I have had.  Very clear when explaining notes and always willing to help a student with notes or homework.  Tests are exactly what was being taught in class.  I highly recommend him.

    STUDENT, HIGH BLUFF ACADEMY
  • Engineers Without Borders USA

    I've been working with James on the EWB India Program for the past 3 years. When our power project looked like it couldn't be done in time to meet grant requirements, James worked diligently and led the effort to help us get it done in time, which some team members considered a miracle of sorts.  Since taking over the program, he has expanded it's mission into 3 additional projects with enthusiasm and determination.  He recently lead the effort to get each fully funded through a large grant.  James is very smart, driven and devote to doing some good in the world with a smile on his face.

    ERIC HYMAN, PE, CEM,
    SENIOR ENGINEER, CLIMATEC

Contact Information

Please contact me with any questions.  I'd be happy to talk with you.

James Harper, PE, ENV SP

Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering
University of Colorado at Boulder
Mobile: +1 (858) 522-9249

Boulder, COUSA