International Development

Where technological innovation intersects with global development for the delivery of products and services to meet basic needs and improve livelihoods, the challenges faced are often complex in nature, with multiple social, economic, institutional, cultural and technical dimensions to consider.

The Sustainable Engineering for International Development track takes a whole-systems approach to preparing engineers and scientists to be effective development practitioners.

Key knowledge, skills and capabilities for sustainable engineers in the International Development track include:

  • Ethical foundation and ability to critically consider interventions in developing communities
  • Core competencies for development practice:
    • Project design and management
    • Participatory appraisal methods
    • Capacity strengthening
    • Monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL)
  • Whole-systems thinking and ability to conceptually model development projects as complex dynamic systems
  • An applied understanding of the concept of appropriate technology
  • Ability to apply user-centric approaches to design
  • Technical toolbox and strong knowledge base in one or more areas relevant to engineering applications for development
  • An entrepreneurial spirit complemented by an understanding of constraints unique to innovation in low-resource environments

Top research areas:

  • Water supply infrastructure
  • Information and communications technologies for development
  • Off-grid renewable energy technologies
  • Humanitarian technologies

Key courses include:

  • Intro to Sustainable Engineering for International Development
  • Sustainable WASH and Environmental Engineering for Development
  • Sustainable Product Development for Low Resource Settings
  • Information, Communications and Energy Technologies for Development
  • Infrastructure for Development and Relief