Abstract: Context: Massey University has been running the first year engineering design project Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Design Challenge for five years. In this time a number of faculty and curriculum changes have been made to ensure the project provides meaningful projectbased- learning for students as well as providing realistic experience in humanitarian engineering. This article describes the challenges faced in facilitating this unique style of project-based-learning and successes, which have led to our teams winning multiple regional and international prizes.
Purpose: The purpose of this article is firstly, to provide a structured reflection of the EWB Design Challenge, as an integral part of the first-year engineering program, and secondly to provide insights and recommendations for other universities currently undertaking the Design Challenge or looking to implement it as part of their curriculum.
Approach: This study utilised the reflective model of Hatton and Smith (1995), as well as a number of reflective studies already published, to develop a script to guide self-moderated reflection. This script was then used to facilitate a reflection session with three of the engineering faculty directly involved in the implementation, teaching, and development of the EWB Design Challenge at Massey University. Thematic analysis was utilised to identify common themes related to successes and challenges over the past five years as well as differences in course delivery across the two Massey University campuses.
Results: This reflective study shows that while technical competencies may not be explicitly developed in the course at Massey University, the focus on simple solutions allows students to use their current technical knowledge effectively. Furthermore the importance of recruiting a cohesive teaching and supervision team, who understand the importance of end-user consideration, sustainability and ethics, is critical to supporting the development of the competencies highlighted in this article.
Conclusions: This study shows that the implementation of the EWB Design Challenge has been successful in providing a project-based-learning course, which introduces students to a number of ethically-driven social competencies required by the global engineer. We propose that universities should focus on recruiting the right faculty as a key driver for effective facilitation of competency development in humanitarian contexts.
To cite this article: Drain, Andrew; Goodyer, Jane and Shekar, Aruna. Building capability to teach humanitarian engineering: A reflection [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 223-232.
[cited 28 May 17].
Drain, Andrew; Goodyer, Jane; Shekar, Aruna;
Source: In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 223-232.
Document Type: Conference Paper
Massey University; Engineering--Social aspects; Project method in teaching; Engineering schools; Engineering design--Study and teaching;
(1) School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, New Zealand, email: email@example.com
(2) School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, New Zealand
(3) School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, New Zealand
Database: Engineering Collection