The Institute works in partnership with Australian universities to deliver sustainable development and humanitarian engineering education programs. EWB is a non-for-profit organisation that supports disadvantaged communities on appropriate technology and community development projects within Asia – Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Timor Leste – and within Aboriginal communities in Australia.
A specialised section of the organisation, the EWB Institute was officially launched this month with the aim of re-defining what is to be an engineer in contemporary society. The organisation focuses on ‘humanitarian engineering’: applying technical skills to make a positive contribution to communities. This includes providing access to clean drinking water, developing renewable energy, and empowering communities through technical capacity building.
The organisation delivers a series of innovative education programs including the EWB Challenge, a first year design project where students develop technical solutions to support one of EWB’s partner communities – currently the Mekong Delta region in Vietnam. This highly successful program is delivered to over , students in universities across Australia and New Zealand.
The EWB Institute also conducts research to develop technical solutions to address the challenges faced by people living in poverty. Projects include prototyping dung-burning stoves to reduce the health impacts due to smoke inhalation in Nepal; and improving pipe designs for landslide-affected areas in Timor Leste. Other education programs coordinated by the EWB Institute include study tours to Cambodia, India and the Murray-Darling; and the Regioneering Road Show, a school science and engineering outreach program to rural, remote and Aboriginal communities.
Director of the EWB Institute, Julian O’Shea, said, “engineers have a key role to play in fighting poverty, and these education initiatives are an outstanding way of giving students and professionals the skills they need to make a real impact”.
“It’s great to see the students engaged and working to address important issues.”
More about the EWB Institute
Dan Loden visits Indian communities and EWB&#;s development partners during the Dialogues on Development trip to India facilitated by the EWB Institute.