A Model for Sustainable Humanitarian Engineering Projects
The engineering profession should embrace a new mission statement—to contribute to the building of a more sustainable, stable, and equitable world. Recently, engineering students and professionals in the United States have shown strong interest in directly addressing the needs of developing communities worldwide. That interest has taken the form of short-and medium-term international trips through Engineers Without Borders—USA and similar organizations. There are also several instances where this kind of outreach work has been integrated into engineering education at various US institutions such as the University of Colorado at Boulder. This paper addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with balancing two goals in engineering for humanitarian development projects: (i) effective sustainable community development, and (ii) meaningful education of engineers. Guiding principles necessary to meet those two goals are proposed.
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