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The World of “Engineering for Good”: Towards A Mapping of Research, Teaching, and Practice of Engineers Doing Good

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Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference



Publication Date

April 9, 2021

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April 9, 2021

End Date

April 10, 2021

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Marie Stettler Kleine Colorado School of Mines

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Marie is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Colorado School of Mines for the humanitarian engineering programs in the Department of Engineering, Design, & Society. She holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and international studies from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and an M.S. and PhD in STS from Virginia Tech. She conducts research on engineering practice and pedagogy around the world, exploring its origins, purposes, and potential futures. Marie’s interest in values and engagement in professional cultures also extends to innovation and its experts. With Matthew Wisnioski and Eric Hintz, Marie co-edited Does America Need More Innovators? (MIT Press, 2019).

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Juan C. Lucena Colorado School of Mines

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Juan Lucena is Professor and Director of Humanitarian Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). Juan obtained a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech and a MS in STS and BS in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). His books include Defending the Nation: U.S. Policymaking to Create Scientists and Engineers from Sputnik to the ‘War Against Terrorism’ (University Press of America, 2005), Engineering and Sustainable Community Development (Morgan &Claypool, 2010), and Engineering Education for Social Justice: Critical Explorations and Opportunities (Springer, 2013).

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Who are engineers for good? Where and how do these engineers do good? And what does it mean to be a successful one? Engineers have provided normative visions for societal change since the profession’s conception (Wisnioski, 2012). A minority of engineers have gone one step further, reimagining and reworking their “desire to help” to form the institutions and norms that define “engineering for good” today (Riley, 2008; Schneider, et al. 2009). Engineering for good—or the practice of prioritizing good over more traditional engineering urgencies such as cost, efficiency, and innovation—has steadily grown in popularity in the United States since the early 2000s. Engineers for good use a variety of language to describe their practice including humanitarian engineering, engineering for development, engineering and social justice, peace engineering, and engineering service-learning. In addition to providing historical context for the growth of this movement, this paper provides an overview of the current academic, nonprofit, and corporate settings in which engineers are explicitly working to do good. This paper reimagines the community as the engineers, scholars, practitioners, and networks that are actively involved in defining what engineering for good is by participating in the enterprise. Analyzing practitioner-oriented artifacts, scholarship, and their geographies, this paper concludes with the call and a preliminary sketch for a broad, community-guided mapping of engineering for good’s past, present, and potential visions for its futures.

Stettler Kleine, M., & Lucena, J. C. (2021, April), The World of “Engineering for Good”: Towards A Mapping of Research, Teaching, and Practice of Engineers Doing Good Paper presented at Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference, Virtual .

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