We need young engineers to be inspired by the difference they will make. Through making the inherent social purpose of engineering explicit, and central to the ethos of being an engineer, Engineers Without Borders UK ensures young people enter the workplace aware of their responsibilities as meaningful contributors to society and with stronger motivations for the longer term.
Dominic participated in the Engineering for People Design Challenge in 2015/16, a design programme designed to put people and purpose at the heart of engineering design. Working in a team at Sheffield Hallam University he worked on a design brief addressing the needs of our partner’s community in Bambui, Cameroon. The team’s concept design for an improved cook stove requires less fuel to run on and produces significantly less smoke. This in turn reduces both the cost of cooking and the negative health impacts caused by smoke inhalation. Making use of easily accessible materials and local skills, the team demonstrated their grasp of how to design for real life scenarios.
Not only was the programme Dominic’s favourite academic component that year, the experience has provided him with useful knowledge for his future career as an engineer.
“I really enjoyed this. It’s something most people won’t ordinarily experience until they do a work placement or once they are in a graduate job. I now recognise the importance of understanding context in engineering design. Rather than just proposing a solution, I realise it is important to consider how real world factors might affect my design, things like cultural acceptance and social integration. I can see how this applies to all kinds of engineering projects.”
Dominic, Grand Prize Winner 2016
Dominic is now excited by what he calls ‘good engineering’, engineering that has a real world application and can transform people’s lives. His experience has inspired him to follow an engineering career that will make a difference.
Engineers Without Borders UK’s work is improving the education of engineers to ensure engineering students are able tackle the real and complex issues in the world today when they enter the engineering profession. We refer to this as the creation of globally responsible engineers. Our award-winning programme, the Engineering for People Design Challenge, is an inter-university design competition already embedded in first and second year undergraduate engineering curriculum at 26 universities around the UK and Ireland. To date, we have improved the skills and competencies of more than 22,600 students through this programme so that they consistently apply social and environmental considerations and can deliver innovative solutions that work for all, today and tomorrow.
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