Learning about waste management

Engineering 4 People Design Challenge

Design Challenge participants

Interviewing a matatu driver on public transportation

Learning about waste management

Engineering 4 People Design Challenge

Engineering 4 People Design Challenge

The Engineering for People Design Challenge, an award-winning initiative by Engineers Without Borders UK, gives engineering students the opportunity to learn and practice the ethical, environmental, social and cultural aspects of engineering design. KDI was the main partner in the 2017-2018 edition to help participating students advance design challenges to the most intractable challenges facing settlements such as Kibera.

Context

The Challenge participants navigating difficult conditions

Communities around the world face huge challenges in the areas of water and sanitation, energy, waste, built environment, transportation solutions and digital infrastructure.

Engineers are central to resolving these design challenges, but it is essential to understand the social, environmental and economic contexts of these challenges in order to contribute to transformative and sustainable solutions.

Process

Interviewing a community member about his business

The programme has been developed to teach students about the importance of ethical, culturally sensitive, and appropriate engineering.

With support from KDI’s design team and drawing on community input, students researched an array of infrastructural and service challenges facing Kibera. Then, taking into account the complex factors at play, they developed and proposed a series of engineering design solutions.

Solution

Interviewing community members at KPSP05

These design solutions were assessed by EWB-UK, KDI and invited partners, with the best six teams invited to showcase their ideas to peers, industry representatives, and a panel of expert judges at the Grand Final in June 2018.

The University of Glasgow took the top prize with their excellent idea to use the thermal energy produced during cooking to power small portable devices such as mobile phones.

Impact

Participants presenting an engineering solution at the Design Challenge Grand Final

Participating in the Engineering for People Design Challenge sets students on a pathway to becoming globally responsible engineers

In 2017/2018 the Challenge ran at 31 universities across the UK and Ireland involving over 6,500 students. By participating, students  learned about the importance of community-engaged design and holistic engineering solutions, and will hopefully apply these lessons in future projects around the world.

You can read more about the challenge here.