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Providing Engineering Students A Global Perspective Through A Project For Developing Communities – Lessons Learned At The University Of Hartford

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Sustainable Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

11.1053.1 - 11.1053.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/694

Download Count

17

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Paper Authors

biography

David Pines University of Hartford

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David Pines is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Hartford. He completed his Ph.D. studies in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2000. He is actively involved with student projects sponsored by environmental engineering firms, municipalities, and water utilities.

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biography

Brian Gallant University of Hartford

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Brian Gallant is an undergraduate mechanical engineering student at the University of Hartford and will graduate in May 2006. He took the initiate to lead the effort in helping the village of Abheyur, India and setting up an official EWB student chapter.

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

Providing Engineering Students a Global Perspective through a Project for Developing Communities – Lessons Learned at the University of Hartford

Abstract

The University of Hartford strives to offer its students a complete education, one that will prepare them for the challenges of the global community of the 21st century. To help meet this mission, the engineering faculty has supported a multidiscipline group of students’ initiative to perform an extracurricular design project for a developing community by including relevant topics in their courses and through a series of special seminars. The design project that was selected by a team of University of Hartford and Wesleyan University students was to assist Abheyur village, which is located about 30 km from New Delhi, India, with some severe potable water issues. Assessment by faculty and students of this extracurricular approach with course support indicated that a more structured approach was required. The current approach only provided the students with the minimal technical background in sustainability and appropriate technologies, and did not at all address the social, political, and business aspects of how their proposed solution would affect the lives of the people living in the village. The challenge facing the faculty was deciding if this should be an additional required course, replacing an existing required course, modifying an existing course, or an elective course. Also, interested faculty and students discussed at what level (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior year) the course should be included. From this assessment process, it was decided to have one section of the required interdisciplinary sophomore design course have a “design for developing community” theme. One of the concerns about offering a course such as this is the funding needed so that all 10 – 15 students have the opportunity to travel to the village and implement their design and learn about all the “on-location” issues that arise, which can not be duplicated in the classroom. To help offset part of this cost and to get the needed involvement of practicing engineers into the course, the University of Hartford is fortunate to have been included in Pratt & Whitney’s business plan to include a pilot Engineers Without Borders1 project as part of their philanthropy program. While there are several organizations that are involved in design for developing communities projects, Pratt & Whitney has selected Engineers Without Borders because of the assessment and implementation process it has in place, which they feel has led to the success of numerous projects. To take advantage of this opportunity, University of Hartford students and faculty are working toward becoming an official student chapter and having the Abheyur Village accepted as an official project. It is anticipated that the “Engineering for Developing Communities” sophomore design course will be first offered in spring 2007.

Introduction

The University of Hartford’s mission statement emphasizes that taking an active role in the community is an important element of a student’s preparation for a lifetime of learning and personal and professional success. Furthermore, the University of Hartford also strives to offer its students a complete education, one that will prepare them for the challenges of the global community of the 21st century2. The element of “taking an active role in the community” has

Pines, D., & Gallant, B. (2006, June), Providing Engineering Students A Global Perspective Through A Project For Developing Communities – Lessons Learned At The University Of Hartford Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/694

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015