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Humanitarian Engineering At The Colorado School Of Mines: An Example Of Multidisciplinary Engineering

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Issues in Multidisciplinary Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.647.1 - 8.647.15



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Paper Authors

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Juan Lucena

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Joan Gosink

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Barbara Moskal

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1843

Humanitarian Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines: An Example of Multidisciplinary Engineering

Joan Gosink, Juan Lucena, Barbara Moskal Colorado School of Mines Golden, Colorado 80401


With the support of a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, we are developing a new program in Humanitarian Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). The goal of this project is the nurturing of a new cadre of engineers, sensitive to social contexts, committed and qualified to serve humanity by contributing to the solution of complex problems at regional, national, and international levels and locations around the world. This goal is to be achieved through the development of a humanitarian component for the CSM engineering curriculum that will teach engineering students how to bring technical knowledge and skill, as well as cultural sensitivity, to bear on the real- world problems of the less materially advantaged.

Examples of this might be creating and maintaining the infrastructure of disaster relief, designing low-tech water supply and treatment systems in developing countries, assisting with the creation of inexpensive housing opportunities for the poor, constructing schools or health clinics, designing and implementing sustainable ways to meet basic human needs for food, shelter, energy, transportation, and communication. This new cadre of engineers may be employed by corporations, government agencies, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Their expertise will be balanced in terms of technical excellence, economic sagacity, ethical maturity, and cultural sensitivity. Humanitarian engineers will help corporations identify new ways to contribute to community development, promote more effective citizen service among government agencies, and assist NGOs in the creation of an transnational civil society.

Humanitarian Engineers will be recruited from the ranks of students enrolled in engineering programs at the CSM. In addition, we are developing new K-12 recruitment strategies aimed at attracting underrepresented groups into the Humanitarian Engineering program. We believe that the emphasis on humanitarian engineering will prove to be particularly effective in drawing women and minority students to engineering, and thereby promote campus diversity. We also expect it to be attractive to a broad spectrum of engineering students.

We will focus on our existing strengths – in energy systems, geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, remote sensing, signal processing, and image processing, and new technologies for “sustainable Engineering,” and in emerging engineering disciplines including, bioengineering, information systems, and micro-nano systems.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Lucena, J., & Gosink, J., & Moskal, B. (2003, June), Humanitarian Engineering At The Colorado School Of Mines: An Example Of Multidisciplinary Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11871

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