Engineering for Change (E4C) is an online platform and international community of engineers, scientists, non-governmental organizations, local community advocates and other innovators working to solve global development problems. The organization's founders are the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Engineers Without Borders USA. It is owned and operated by Engineering for Change, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASME.
Members of the E4C community use the platform's online tools to share knowledge and collaborate. They work together to design and apply technical solutions wherever they see the need. Solutions fall into seven categories on the organization's Web site, and they can include big infrastructure projects such as community water purification and bridge building, or smaller, personal technologies such as bicycle-powered electricity generators and cellphone applications for healthcare. It is dedicated to providing solutions to fundamental quality-of-life challenges in underserved communities throughout the world. These challenges may pertain to any number of basic needs, such as clean water, energy, sanitation, housing and transportation. Our vision is to enable information-sharing, collaboration and interaction among organizations working “in the field,” and problem solvers registered on the site.
Engineering for Change uses open source technology to provide an easy-to-access medium for NGOs and local organizations to find answers to specific challenges. It also provides engineers and other problem solvers an accessible way to contribute their technical skills and know-how to the communities that need it most. While developed by ASME, Engineering for Change is open to and part of the entire engineering community.
History[edit | edit source]
In 2009, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers created a website to pull together the disparate sources of information on appropriate technology and solutions in global development. The site aggregated information, hosted a library of often little-known technologies, and offered tools to enable collaboration among development teams worldwide. Throughout 2010, the site operated in alpha and then beta with a mostly closed group of users. A public site, at engineeringforchange.info, mirrored some of the content on the test site, but without all of its functionality. IEEE and EWB-USA signed on as partners in time for the public launch on January 4, 2011.
The organization now has more than 3000 members. Many of them are also members of the founding organizations, which have a combined membership of more than 500,000.
Solutions Library[edit | edit source]
E4C users can post projects they are working on and challenges they are having to gain insight from the wider community. They can use an open-source archive of solutions to development issues that include models for development projects, tested devices and other information gleaned from global organizations. The members can learn how to use their skills in developing countries and resource-poor areas from experts in their fields. They can also track the projects that interest and contribute their own advice and information.
Education[edit | edit source]
Education is an important part of Engineering for Change. The Web site provides educational materials on how to design and implement solutions, and an archive of relevant academic programs.
References[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Official website
- Audio interview with Noha El-Ghobashy - Mechanical Engineering Magazine's blog
- "Engineering for Change" - Mechanical Engineering Magazine
- "Engineering for Change Needs You" - IEEE.org
- "A Design Tool Whose Time Has Come" - NextBillion
- Innovative Banana Leaf Sanitary Pads Hit a Design Snag - Good.is