Humanitarian Engineering

Humanitarian Engineering is the application of engineering to meet the needs of communities and in particular focusses on appropriateness and sustainability. It covers a spectrum of activities from disaster response and preparedness to long-term sustainable community development, within Australia and overseas. It is a complementary skill to existing engineering disciplines. Humanitarian engineers analyse and design infrastructure and appropriate technology to support the well-being and welfare of individuals and communities in disadvantaged circumstances. This includes developing countries as well as marginalised or remote communities in Australia.

The School of Chemical Engineering has a long history of humanitarian activities, and some recent examples are provided here: Student outreach project benefits Chemical Engineering program in Myanmar; clean water solutions for disaster zones;

Humanitarian Engineering is now being offered as a discipline for study within Chemical Engineering programs at UNSW. Students interested in Humanitarian Engineering can now incorporate a number of interesting courses in their Bachelor in Chemical Engineering, Chemical Product Engineering, and in Food Science (all Honours) programs.

a) 24 Units of Credit comprising:
ENGG3001  Fundamentals of Humanitarian Engineering (as breadth elective course)
ARTS2755  Development in Practice: Humanitarian Action (as General Education course)
ENGG4102  Humanitarian Engineering Project (practice elective, with both ENG3001 and ARTS2755 being recommended to be completed first)

b) Students may also like to select additional General Education course to further support their interest in Humanitarian Engineering. Examples of such courses are provided below:
ARTS2248  Disaster and Society
ARTS2751  International Development
ARTS2752  Local Politics of Development
ATSI2015  The Science of Indigenous Knowledge
ATSI2016  Torres Straight: Past and Present
ATSI3003  Indigenous culture and environment
EDST2070  Culture, Identity and Education
GENC2100  Global Finance

c) Students may also like to pursue an Honours Research project (CEIC4951, CEIC4952 and CEIC4953) through Engineers without Borders or other research topics offered by academics related to Humanitarian Engineering.

Please note that "breadth" and "practice" classifications are only relevant to the Chemical Engineering students and are just simply "electives" for everyone else.

For more details about Humanitarian Engineering in the School of Chemical Engineering, please contact:

Profile shot of Rita Henderson

Rita Henderson
Senior Lecturer
Chemical Engineering

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Pierre Le Clech
Associate Professor
Chemical Engineering