[SE11-CCT] Development Engineering: Training Global Engineers

DAY 3 – Friday 29 June – 10:45-12:15
Swiss Tech | Room 1A | Level Garden 
Session Leader
Silvia Hostettler
Cooperation and Development Center, EPFL, Switzerland
Silvia Hosttetler is an environmental scientist and international development scholar with 19 years of experience in researching sustainable development challenges in the global South. She is interested in how technological innovation can support poverty reduction and sustainable development. She studied at the University of Geneva, the University of Aberdeen (UK) and at EPFL, conducted research in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mexico and was based in Bangalore for four years as Executive Director of swissnex India. Currently, She is the Deputy Director of the Cooperation and Development Center at EPFL and direct the International Conference of the UNESCO Chair in Technologies for Development. I teach Development Engineering at Bachelor and Master level and am passionate about sustainable development, yoga and hiking in the wilderness.
Susan Amrose
University of California Berkeley, United States
Susan Amrose is a Research Scientist at the Global Engineering and Research (GEAR) Lab at MIT developing affordable and scalable water treatment and drip irrigation solutions for emerging markets. She previously led the water team at the Gadgil Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, where she helped develop treatment technologies for arsenic, fluoride, and brackish water contamination. She played an integral role in the development of ECAR technology to remove naturally occurring arsenic from groundwater and helped develop a fuel efficient cookstove for Darfur. At Berkeley, she taught several interdisciplinary graduate courses on designing scalable technologies for low-income regions.


The complexity of the challenges humanity is facing calls for a vital revision of the way academia educates future professionals. Engineers not only need to excel in their discipline; they also need to be able to work efficiently in any context. We need to innovate the education of future engineers who are capable to design technologies that are appropriate, affordable and robust to genuinely foster local development and reach the SDGs.
This session will discuss emerging multidisciplinary pedagogical approaches that are human-centered, combining engineering and social disciplines to address development challenges. We will discuss the potential and the challenges linked to integrating new courses such as Development Engineering / Global Engineering / Sustainable Engineering in traditional curricula. Our questions will be: 1) What are the main expected learning outcomes for a global engineer? 2) What are the key elements for effectively designing such educational courses? 2) How can we build institutional support for such courses/degrees?
Panelists and Abstracts
Educating Future Professionals: the Case of Politecnico di Milano in Sustainable Energy Engineering
Emanuela Colombo1, Lorenzo Mattarolo1
1Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Presenting author’s email address: emanuela.colombo@polimi.it
Biography of Presenting Author: Emanuela Colombo has achieved a PhD in Energetic at Politecnico di Milano where she is currently Associate Professor in “Engineering for Cooperation and Development” and “Advanced Thermodynamics and Thermoeconomics”. She has been appointed as Rector’s Delegate to Cooperation and Development at Politecnico di Milano since 2005. Over the last decade she has focused the research on energy modeling, on the interrelations between energy and sustainable development, also coordinating several projects in developing countries
In line with the 2030 Agenda and the international framework, which recognize the importance of education in the process of sustainable development, and acknowledging the key role that academia plays in this process, the UNESCO Chair in Energy for Sustainable Development at Politecnico di Milano has consolidated its mission towards the promotion of an integrated system of education, research, technological cooperation and community service, focusing on energy and sustainable development. Besides the ordinary commitment for education activities, two specific initiatives have been implemented: the course of ‘Engineering and Cooperation for Development’ within the MSc of Energy Engineering and the recently launched Honours Program ‘Engineering for Sustainable Development’. Both initiatives aim at better integrating sustainable development into curricula, on a systemic and transdisciplinary perspective, to empower and prepare the next generation of engineering professionals to cope with the complex global challenges of society.
Engineering for Developing Communities
Mark Talesnik1
1Technion, Israel
Presenting author’s email address:talesnik@technion.ac.il
Biography of Presenting Author: Submissions must be accompanied by an 80 word biographical paragraph of the presenting author. This information will be used by the Session Leader for introduction purposes or may also be published in conference literature.
The program provides a hands-on, real life learning experience in rural communities. The program challenges students to approach problems with innovative and critical thinking, and provides them with multi-disciplinary tools to address a wide range of engineering and development challenges in a sustainable and holistic way. This unique multidisciplinary four-week program provides students with real-life field work experience in small-scale sustainable community planning and development. The program is open to talented undergraduate students studying engineering, science, architecture, medicine, economics and any other field relevant to community development. Subjects related to sustainable community development, public health, infrastructure, renewable and low cost energy, and other related topics are covered. The 2016 EDC summer course, in its fifth year, will take place in Mekelle, Ethiopia. In previous years it was given in remote communities in Nepal, China, and Bedouin communities in Israel’s Negev region.
IngénieuxSud: Educate Engineers for Acting in a Complex and Intercultural Environment
Jean-Pierre Raskin1, Stéphanie Merle2
1Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
2Louvain Coopération (NGO), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Presenting author’s email address: jean-pierre.raskin@uclouvain.be
Biography of Presenting Author: Jean-Pierre Raskin received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in applied sciences from Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, in 1994 and 1997, respectively. He has been a Professor and the head of the Electrical Engineering Department of UCL since 2000 and 2014, respectively. His research interests are the field of microelectronics, nanotechnologies and material sciences. He has been IEEE Fellow since 2014. He was the recipient of the Médaille BLONDEL 2015 and of the European Global Education Innovation Award in 2017.
The project-lecture called IngénieuxSud won in 2017 the Global Education Innovation Award delivered by the Global Education Network Europe (GENE) which groups the European network of Ministries in the field of Global Education. IngénieuxSud consists in the collaboration during one academic year, between European students [1], and Southern students to look for appropriable technological solutions to local community issues. The students communicate with each other from September to June. This academic year ends with a one-month internship on the field where European and local students implement their technical solution with the population.

 Engineers with a broader capacity are needed to contribute to the realization of the SDGs. Though a number of technical universities have recently devoted efforts to integrating sustainable development into engineering curricula, current international debates have not yet explored in detail the role that Higher Education should play within Global Citizenship Education. Here we present lessons learned from a European initiative, the Global Dimension in Engineering Education (GDEE), promoted by a transdisciplinary consortium of technical universities and nongovernmental organisations. GDEE (http://gdee.eu) has developed specific novel tools to widen the training of Engineers in Europe, and to include global development aspects into their professional competences. There are increasing needs to further transform learning and training environments and build capacity of educators and trainers on sustainable development issues (Perez-Foguet et al., 2017). The work discusses project-based training and a recently launched honors programme that represent promising tools to set possible ways forward.
 Energy is an essential component of our living standards and the per capita consumption is usually considered as a vital indicator of the competitiveness of national economies and industrial activity. In this context the necessity to evaluate the quality of energy education curricula was requisite. Besides, at the level of HEIs it is often not easy to find fitting experiences and updated competencies in the energy field. Consequently, the leverages to be pulled up for promoting energy education was enhancement of HEIs capacity in promoting energy education programs. This paper represents data from a study that explored the current status of energy engineering laboratories and teaching methodologies in engineering faculties in Kenyan HEIs. Different solutions were evaluated and choices made not only on the basis of a merely economic criterion, but also looking at the action’s sustainability, with regard to maintenance feasibility, spare parts availability and technology durability over time.