The Engineering for Sustainable Development Minor
Engineers will be increasingly called upon to help devise solutions to the tremendous problems of poverty, inequality and social and environmental dislocation that afflict major parts of the globe in the 21st century. Working as an engineer in this context involves negotiating highly complex social, economic and political realities and dealing with a wide range of institutions and actors, including national and local governments, multilateral lenders such as the World Bank, diverse non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local communities. It also increasingly involves working in interdisciplinary teams with social scientists, public health and medical workers, humanitarian aid workers, bankers, politicians and the like. “Sustainable” development implies a development path that is socially equitable, culturally sensitive and environmentally appropriate over a multi-generational time frame.
The Minor in Engineering for Sustainable Development exposes engineering students to some of the key issues related to development, methods of information-gathering in diverse and difficult settings, and working effectively with non-engineers on complex problems. We begin with a one-semester core course that surveys the various issues involved, followed by an individually-designed but coherent program organized around a particular theme, disciplinary approach or region of the world. We conclude with a one-semester seminar in which students come together and share their experiences and insights from their various program trajectories.
For more information about this minor, please visit our advising page.