Engineers for Social Impact

Engineers for Social Impact (EfSI) supports and complements the mission of the Engineering Division and the broad goals of NYU Abu Dhabi through courses that emphasize experiential learning and projects that focus on developing globally-relevant, locally-sustainable designs that meet challenges and deliver on opportunities that enable individuals across global communities to more effectively realize their aspirations and ambitions.

By engaging with ethics in the classroom and ethnographic fieldwork off-campus, engineering students expand their comfort zones to work from vantage points of broader mindfulness of social, cultural, and economic aspects that are inextricably connected to technology-driven solutions in today’s hyper-connected world.  Students may optionally enroll in a second, project-driven course focusing on the process of co-designing meaningful innovations, projects, and products  with members of a selected community.  Throughout all fieldwork, the goal is to connect with the processes, people, sights, sounds, experiences, and stories that are only accessible outside the classroom and bring new understanding to bear on the ways to address a wide range of issues and challenges in the courses and beyond.

The EfSI program is a collaboration between the Engineering Division and the Office of Global Education to deliver unparalleled international engagement with communities through partnerships with the Solar Energy Foundation in Ethiopia, URBZ/Urbanology in Dharavi, Mumbai, and Habitat for Humanity in Jordan, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Brian Ndirangu Makindu, Class of 2015.
 

Sometimes, as engineers, we get lost behind all the math, physics and theoretical work and forget what our eventual goal should be: changing the lives of others whether through product development or re-engineering a new device. Through this trip, I learnt that I should always have the end in mind.

Brian Ndirangu, General Engineering graduate