We have been running the Engineering for People Design Challenge (formerly the EWB Challenge) with Engineers Without Borders UK for the past four years as part of our second year course Design for Sustainable Development.
Every year our students work hard to design and problem solve for a real world community, developing their own understanding of the needs of that community and communicating their ideas in both technical and accessible formats. The best design portfolios are entered into the national Engineering for People Design Challenge, where the portfolios are reviewed by professional teams of humanitarian engineers, sustainability experts and representatives from NGOs. The best teams are invited to participate in the finals day and further explain their ideas in poster and presentation format.
We have recently participated in a study being conducted by Dr Anh Tran, Senior Lecturer in Humanitarian Engineering at the University of Coventry to explore the impact of the Challenge both on individual engineering undergraduates and more widely on engineering education as a whole.
The aim of this research is to deepen UK academics’ and Engineers Without Borders UK’s understanding of the utility of the Engineering for People Design Challenge in inspiring and educating engineers to be more globally responsible and how better to achieve this. Specifically, what skills, attitudes and knowledge the international context and challenge-led/project based learning delivery embedded in the programme develops in the participating students and how the delivery academics can be better supported to deliver this