How the EWB Challenge develops professional skills for participants
By Grace Roberts and Bryce Neuman
The Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenges encourage participants to engage with the complexity of wicked 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.
The EWB Challenges encourage participants to engage with the complexity of real-world wicked problems by developing appropriate solutions for sustainable development
From their participation in the programs, engineering students, academics, and industry reviewers can experience a shift in their social, cultural, and globally responsible engineering mindsets
Students and reviewers of the EWB Challenges are gaining skills and experience that can be applied in their engineering practice every day.