The “Engineers without Borders” Challenge : does it engage Australian and New Zealand students with sustainability?

Buys, Laurie, Miller, Evonne, Buckley, Mathew, & Jolly, Lesley (2013) The “Engineers without Borders” Challenge : does it engage Australian and New Zealand students with sustainability? In Shoniregun, Charles (Ed.) Proceedings of Ireland International Conference on Education (IICE-2013), Infonomics Society, Dublin, Ireland, pp. 123-128.


This paper explores the rationale, experience and impact of thirteen Australia and New Zealand universities that have integrated the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) challenge into their first year engineering curriculum. EWB is a national competition for university students, who work in teams to develop conceptual designs for real sustainable development projects across the globe. This project investigated “what works and what doesn’t” in engineering curriculum renewal, utilising content analysis, multiple in-depth interviews with students and staff (coordinators, lecturers, tutors) and observation. EWB comprises between 25 to 100% of the total assessment items. This paper specifically focuses on student’s experience of EWB, documenting how the project teaches sustainability and systems-thinking approaches, engages students with different cultures, and fosters teamwork, new ways of thinking and communication skills. We identify key benefits and challenges of EWB, as well as mechanisms and contexts that foster student engagement and learning outcomes.

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ID Code: 64778
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: first year university, Engineers without Borders challenge, sustainability, engineering curriculum renewal, HERN
ISBN: 9781908320124
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Management and Studio and Professional Practice (120303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Economics Business and Management) (130205)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Copyright Owner: Copyright © IICE-2013 Published by Infonomics Society
Deposited On: 03 Feb 2014 01:44
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 08:32

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