Engineers Without Borders U.K., leading a movement to put global responsibility at the heart of engineering, has launched the 2021/2022 cycle of the Engineering for People Design Challenge in partnership with Engineers Without Borders South Africa and the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CfAT), Australia.

The new challenge is made possible with the support of CfAT, a not-for-profit organization led by Indigenous people, which was established in 1980 to research, design, develop and build capacity in appropriate technologies and deliver technical training to Indigenous peoples living in remote and off-grid communities.

During a pivotal moment in an undergraduate student’s career, the Engineering for People Design Challenge encourages individuals to broaden their awareness of the social, environmental and economic implications of their engineering solutions. Now in its eleventh year, the Design Challenge has reached over 50,000 undergraduate students across South Africa, the U.K,. Ireland and the U.S. The current challenge will be delivered to 48 institutions in the U.K., the U.S. and South Africa.

By investigating the key challenge areas such as energy, food security and waste management, students are encouraged to consider the ongoing impacts of colonization and Indigenous conservation efforts to maintain the intimately linked concepts of ‘country and culture’: To preserve ancient knowledge systems, prevent wildfires and protect biodiversity and unique ecosystems, while also noting the link between engineering design, ‘appropriate technology’ and people’s ability to survive, thrive and flourish in remote landscapes.

Academics from each institution will review their students’ submissions with the top five from each university going forward to be judged by industry volunteers. The best team from each participating university will then be invited to present their solutions at the Grand Finals in a bid to win the Grand Prize of an educational bursary. The runner-up and the People's Prize winners will also receive an educational bursary to share between them.

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