UCD First Year Engineering Students to Participate in the Engineers Without Borders-UK Challenge


UCD has joined the Engineers Without Borders–UK Challenge. UCD is the first Irish Higher Education institution to participate in the Challenge. Engineers Without Borders (EWB) are an international development organisation which uses engineering skills to aid communities in developing countries.

The EWB Challenge is a design challenge for first and second year undergraduate students. Students work in teams to develop concept designs for projects in developing countries. The Challenge has been running in Australia since 2007, reaching over 18,000 students at 31 institutions. In 2011/12 the Challenge was run for the first time in the UK, for over 2,000 students. In the 2012/13 academic session UCD will join in the EWB-UK Challenge.

The 2012/13 Challenge will see students aiding Habitat for Humanity Vietnam, developing design solutions for communities in the Anh Minh discrict within the Kien Giang province of the Mekong Delta Region. The design issues to be focussed on include:

  • Water sanitation and hygiene
  • Waste management
  • Housing design and construction
  • Energy
  • Information communictions technology
  • Transport

Design teams can address a single design issue or develop a design encompassing multiple issues.

Through the design challenge students will develop their understanding of sustainable development, inequality and the role and responsibilities of the engineer in the global framework. Students will more keenly understand the social, economic and ethical issues which will impact on their solutions, they will develop their engineering judgement and the ability to use appropriate resources effectively.

From the group of 285 student undertaking the Challenge, 5 teams will be chosen to represent UCD for consideration for the EWB-UK Finals in June 2013.