Engineering for Developing Communities: The Developing World as the Classroom of the 21st Century

December 16, 2002 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90

Engineering curricula in modern universities are mostly designed toward solving the problems of the one billion rich and not the needs of the five billion poor. This is unfortunate as the demand of the developing world for engineering solutions is likely to increase in the forthcoming years due to population growth. There is a need for training a new generation of engineers who could better meet the challenges and needs of the developing world. The challenge is the education of engineers: (i) who have the skills and tools appropriate to address the issues that our planet is facing today and is likely to face within the next 20 years; (ii) who are aware of the needs of the developing world; and (iii) who can contribute to the relief of the endemic problems of poverty afflicting developing communities worldwide. In the College of Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, we are developing a new program in Engineering for Developing Communities (EDC) with the underlying theme that “The Developing World is the Classroom of the 21st Century.” The overall mission of the program is to create internationally responsible students who can offer sustainable and appropriate technology and business solutions to the endemic problems of poverty faced by developing communities worldwide (including the US). The components of the new program include education, research and development, and outreach and practice. Finally, the new program can serve as a blueprint for the education of engineers of the 21st century who are called to play a critical role in contributing to peace and security in an increasingly challenged world. --The lecture will discuss the new program and its educational, research and outreach components. Several examples of international projects will be presented. For more information about this seminar, please contact: JoAnne Lambert 510.486.4835, or send e-mail to

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