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Peace Engineering

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Over the last four years, a wide range of initiative have emerged globally in the engineering community that seek to advance Peace Engineering as a recognized field of practice. The 2018 World Engineering Education Forum had this as its central topic, and several universities in the United States have launched graduate and undergraduate programs with this area of emphasis (among these, an M.S. and online graduate certificate at Drexel University, a minor at Saint Thomas University, and an upcoming minor at the University of New Mexico).

The International Federation of Engineering Education Societies has proposed a definition of the field as: "the intentional application of systemic-level thinking of science and engineering principles to directly promote and support conditions for peace" (Jordan et al. 2018). https://www.ifees.net/peace-engineering/

While this is an interdisciplinary undertaking, there is a vital connection between humanitarian engineers to play in promoting the conditions for positive peace, and in integrating a systemic understanding of the drivers of conflict in our own practices.

After working for a decade in renewable energy microenterprise development and finance in Latin America, I was attracted to the interface between engineering, social impact and peacebuilding when the main Engineering Professional Guild in my country, Costa Rica, established its own Conflict Resolution Center in 2000. I have since continued to evolve my own professional practice towards the strengthening of transparency, ethics, public engagement and conflict sensitivity in technology and infrastructure projects.

I would welcome the opportunity to interact with other colleagues who see the value of engineers acquiring stronger conflict analysis and management skills. Please contact me through the community of practice if this is an area of interest for you.

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