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Vertically Integrated Engineering Service-Learning: Program Design

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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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Jordan F. Ermilio Center for Humanitarian Engineering and International Development, College of Engineering, Villanova University

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Jordan Ermilio has been directly involved with the engineering design and implementation of community development projects in countries throughout Southeast Asia, Central America and Africa. He served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines and has worked with Oxfam International in East Timor. He is the co-founder of the Villanova Engineering Service-Learning Program and is currently the director of the Center for Humanitarian Engineering and International Development. He completed Master’s in Water Resources Engineering at Villanova University, his Ph.D. at the Water Engineering Development Center at Loughborough University, and his current research focus is on the sustainable management of water infrastructure in developing communities. He has been happily married for 18 years and has two children, a boy (age 12) and a girl (age 10).

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The XXXX Engineering Service-Learning program was established in 2011 and transitioned into the Center for XXXX in 2020. At the present time, XXXX has 16 partners in 12 countries globally, and close to 100 students participate in field assignments associated with humanitarian projects in developing communities. This paper provides an overview of the program design with an emphasis on the vertical integration of projects across undergraduate and graduate engineering programs. Details on the curricular aspects of the program as well as a participatory framework that includes depth and breadth of opportunity is provided. The motivation for this paper is to demonstrate best-practices in humanitarian engineering and service-learning, with the objective of highlighting the role of academic institutions when engaging with organizations internationally.

The design and execution of the humanitarian engineering program at XXXX is presented with an emphasis of lessons learned during the provision of technical support to both local and international non-government organizations. A qualitative review of success and failure is discussed based on program partner feedback, discussions with faculty, students, and communities. Conclusions from this paper raise some important ethical questions about the role of academic institutions when engaging with community partners. In addition, program design that emphasizes the importance contextual awareness and humility is highlighted. Next steps associated with this paper include the need to formally establish research-services with partner organizations, develop participatory methodologies, and further integrate undergraduate and graduate student projects into program activities.

Ermilio, J. F. (2021, April), Vertically Integrated Engineering Service-Learning: Program Design Paper presented at Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference, Virtual . 10.18260/1-2--36329

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