Welcome to the Academic Forum!

This platform is available to academics from across the world who deliver design challenges including Bangladesh, Ireland, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, UK and the USA. Simply click on the word discuss above to access the forum.

Each university which is co-delivering our design challenges, provide an incredible opportunity to enhance the learning experience of their students. We hold a relationship with a minimum of one academic per participating university and provide training and guidance to up-skill academics and support their delivery to students.

For more guidance on how to run a design challenge find our Project Based Learning Guide here.


Engineering for People Design Challenge (2011-Present)

This year, Engineers Without Borders UK has collaborated with Engineers Without Borders South Africa and USA to create an international Engineering for People Design Challenge which educates students on the environmental, social and economic impact of their design ideas. The design brief is set in Makers Valley, South Africa where senior staff from Engineers Without Borders South Africa, UK and the US met and developed the design brief together with the help of local partners.

The challenge is embedded within the first year of an undergraduate engineering degree and culminates at the Grand Finals at the end of the academic year. In total we have 38 universities partaking, reaching over 7000 students globally.

Read the Engineering for People Design Challenge University Guide here.

Submission Instructions

Guidance and information on student submission can be found here.

The national student submission portals at the bottom of the student submission page are password protected to ensure that only the teams who have been selected by their academic can submit.

Password: Engineeringforpeople2019

Please only share this password with the teams that are eligible for submission to the reviewer stage.


Efficiency for Access Design Challenge (2019)

Applications for this challenge are closed for 2019. 

Launched in September 2019 through a partnership of Engineers Without Borders UK and the Efficiency for Access Coalition, the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge is embedded within the curriculum and is open to students who are in the final year of their Bachelor or during a Masters degree. We have collaborated with universities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda and the UK this year to:

  • Raise awareness and inspire student engagement in the off-grid sector.
  • Forge strong relationships between universities, their students and industry.
  • Promote talent and innovation in the off-grid appliance sector globally.

With over 90 students, across 9 universities and 3 continents, and 9 industry members all collaborating to in the off-grid appliance sector, we are incredibly excited to see what innovations are created!

Read the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge University Guide here.

Young man putting up a poster on a display board

Engineering for People Design Challenge

Embedded in the engineering curriculum of 6,500 first and second year students, this challenge allows students to investigate and respond to real-world problems at an early stage in their education. It ensures that the human and social impact of engineering forms a foundation to their learning and that they develop the skills they need to operate and innovate in the complex global workplace.

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Figure sitting in building

Efficiency for Access Design Challenge

A unique opportunity for more than 80 students in either the final year of their bachelor’s, or a master’s degree to be linked to industry to help accelerate global energy access. Starting in September 2019, university students from three continents are working to improve appliances that provide critical energy services such as refrigeration, cooling, and communications.

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Launching the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge

This challenge provides an opportunity for students to help accelerate global energy access. Students from Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda and the UK will be supported by nine off-grid industry partners through webinars, mentoring and feeding back on submissions.

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