The Development and Integration of Humanitarian Engineering

Report
THE DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION
OF HUMANITARIAN ENGINEERING
CURRICULUM IN AN ENGINEERING
TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM
Aaron Brown
Duane Swigert
Metropolitan State University of Denver
MSU DENVER ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
Civil Engineering Technology Program - Extended major
with two concentrations.
 Electrical Engineering Technology Program - Major,
extended major with three concentrations, two minors,
three certificates.
 Mechanical Engineering Technology Program Extended major with two concentrations, minor.

WHY HUMANITARIAN ENGINEERING ?
• Humanitarian engineering is research and
design to directly improve the wellbeing of
marginalized or under-served communities.
• The main purpose is to increase the quality
of life for those that don’t have the
necessary means to do so themselves.
• This is done through smaller scale
infrastructure projects such as water
pumps, hydroelectric power generation,
solar heating, water filtration, and much
more.
A LARGE GAP REMAINS BETWEEN TODAY’S
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES AND THE NEEDS
OF THE WORLD’S MAJORITY
“The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services
exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers. Nothing less than a revolution in design is
needed to reach the other 90%.” Dr. Paul Polak, International Development Enterprises
Engineering
Focus
100%
10%
90%
0%
Population
Benefitted
GAP
WATER & SANITATION
ENERGY
SHELTER
HEALTH
EDUCATION
RESILIENCY TO CRISES





1.2 billion lack clean water
2.4 billion lack adequate sanitation
2.4 billion are at risk with malaria
29,000 children die from hunger daily
1.1 billion overfed vs. 1.1 billion underfed
Why Humanitarian Engineering?




1.2 billion lack adequate housing
1.6 billion have no access to electricity
4.2 billion are unable to read
1.8 billion live in conflict zones, in transition, or in
situations of permanent instability
• The nature of humanitarian
engineering projects offer a
unique opportunity to teach
students through an
approach that integrates
theory with a practical
hands-on experience
SERVICE LEARNING

combining classroom instruction with meaningful
community service
HUMANITARIAN ENGINEERING COURSE
COSTA RICA - WINTERIM 2013
STUDENTS
DESIGNED AND BUILT A SIMPLE SOLAR WATER
HEATER USING LOCALLY SOURCED AVAILABLE MATERIALS
INTENDED FOR INSTALLATION ON A LOCAL SCHOOL
MATERIALS
CONSTRUCTION
TIRED, HUNGRY, HAPPY
PROJECTS COURSE
Westwood community solar furnace project
Assistive technology project
Solar water filtration project
SOLAR FURNACE
•The emerging field of alternative energy
provides opportunities to develop new
technologies to meet societal needs through a
different paradigm.
•Opportunity to help communities with
simple/sustainable/inexpensive technologies
•Engages students on a local service learning
activity
SOLAR FURNACE DESIGN
Array of soda can towers (other options/materials can be
substituted based on availability)
 Enclosed in insulated box
 Polycarbonate screen (can be substituted with other
materials (i.e. glass, shower curtains, acrylic) based on
availability and budget
 Mixing manifolds at top and bottom
 Solar or AC powered fan

HOW IT WORKS
CONSTRUCTION

Uses computer fans
(range is 50-80 CFM).
These fans were found on
ebay for $3 a piece and
costs approximately 2
cents a day to run. The
system is scalable and
flexible.
TESTING

This design had a
maximum output temp of
170°F (from 70°F Input)
during testing.
STUDENTS INSTALL DEMONSTRATION
UNITS
Public radio's live
midday news program

Soda Can Solar Furnace Helps Cut Heating Bills
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY
Collaboration with Assistive Technology Partners of
Colorado
 Mission: to empower individuals with disabilities to
achieve their highest potential through the use of
assistive technology, by providing exemplary clinical
services, consultation, education, research and innovative
technology development.

SOLAR WATER FILTRATION

Students are designing a
water filtration system
that can be used in
developing communities
LA PIEDRA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
HUMANITARIAN ENGINEERING CLUB
QUESTIONS?

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