The Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenges encourage participants to engage with the complexity of problems by developing appropriate solutions for sustainable development. They are university design programs aimed at first-year engineering students that bring real-world challenges to the classroom. Student teams respond to a design brief developed in collaboration with a community partner organisation where they propose a technical solution to a challenge faced by that community.
Each year, tens of thousands of students participate in the curriculum-integrated programs at dozens of universities around Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland. Since it began in 2007 in Australia, and 2011 in the UK, over 150,000 students have participated.
The EWB Challenges aim to develop future-fit professional skills to tackle complex problems of the world, by situating technology within the holistic context of people, society, culture and environment. The vision is that every engineer has the skills, knowledge, experience and attitude to contribute to sustainable community development and poverty alleviation. This applies not only to the participating students, but also to the academics that are supported by EWB to deliver the program, and the industry reviewers that are recruited to evaluate the top reports.
In this talk, Grace Roberts, the EWB Challenge Coordinator at EWB Australia, will present on the experience and skills that students take into their careers, while researcher Bryce Neuman will share his findings on the roles and parallel outcomes for volunteer industry reviewers and academics.
Grace currently coordinates the EWB Challenge across Australia and New Zealand. She has degrees in international development and product design, and is interested in helping engineers navigate the complex social world they influence through technology. Grace conducted her masters research on improved cook stoves in Nepal and volunteered in Cambodia as an EWB Australia Field Professional, before moving back home to Perth. Prior to this she spent 6 years in the not-for-profit education space promoting the inclusion of disadvantaged groups in communities, including at the Australian Red Cross.
Bryce’s research into EWB-UK’s Challenge was the culmination of his M.A. in STS at TU Munich. The pursuit followed his interest in combined technical and social problem solving, in education and practice, for globally responsible ends. He first volunteered for the challenge in 2019, and soon partnered with EWB for a dive into the reviewers’ multifaceted role in this rich and formative program. Bryce’s career in structural engineering specialized in earthquake performance, beginning in California and eventually reaching post-disaster, least-developed country contexts including Haiti and Nepal.
- Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
- Technical Society Member Rate: $30.00 ($27.27 excl. GST)
- Student: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
- Non-Member Rate: $30.00 ($27.27 excl. GST)
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