Humanitarian Engineering

Eradicating poverty is not an act of charity, it is an Engineering and Scientific task
University of Warwick
“Humanitarian Engineering is defined as "the use of science and engineering to invent, create, design, develop, or improve technologies which promote the well-being of communities facing grand humanitarian challenges such as fast-growing populations, poor, disaster-hit, marginalized, or under-served communities”
University of Warwick

University of Humanitarian Engineering

The University of Twente in its Shaping 2030 vision decides to be a university of technology that puts people first. We direct special attention to three societal themes and the challenges they pose, framed in a single question:

How can we contribute to the development of a fair, sustainable and digital society between now and 2030?

Humanitarian Engineering brings together these themes in a global context. Ending poverty and promoting human development, in a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner, is one of the greatest challenge of our era. It is the number one priority according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Engineering for sustainable community development provides an approach for engineers to cooperatively work with people on location to identify needs and resources, develop technology solutions, and assess impact. Humanitarian Engineering is a broad field. We have taken a focus on a number of pillars, each of which is indirectly related to other Sustainable Development Goals. The University of Twente has experts working in each of these domains, making an impact and tackling societal challenges:

Health (SDG 3)

Acces to Education (SDG 4)

Water (SDG 6)

Energy & Waste management (SDG 7)

Infrastructure (SDG 9)


Looking for an MSc degree?

We are exploring the option to include Humanitarian Engineering in our educational programmes. If you are interested in such a programme, please leave your details and we will keep you informed of any developments.

A long term goal

Our goal is ambitious and twofold: we want to setup a Master Programme and a Research Center in Humanitarian Engineering. Education and Research play an equally important role in Higher Education Institutions such as Universities. Their intertwining is one of the main driving factors for each of our scientific topics embraced at the UT. We want to train students for leading our tomorrow society and at the same time we want pushing forward research boundaries for improving our society. Humanitarian Engineering field is not an exception.

Trying to get close to the established and challenging target “zero poverty” does require both engineers with specific multidisciplinary skills and researchers able to analyze the basic problems of areas affected by poverty and offer valuable but simple and efficient solutions. Therefore, we want to become the reference point in Europe for both research and educational aspects of Humanitarian Engineering.

Be part of the movement!

Whether you are part of the University of Twente community or an external organization: if you would like to contribute and be part of the team working on Humanitarian Engineering at the UT, please reach out to us. We welcome new angles for each of the topics mentioned above. Also, we explicitly would like to link in with external parties (NGO's, universities, goverments and commercial parties) as we believe that tackling poverty is a joint effort challenge. 

student movement

The University of Twente has an active branch of ENACTUS. Enactus is an organization active in 37 countries that enables students to realize their ideas into projects that could run for years. They focus their projects on SDG’s in order to create a positive social impact on the world

The aim is to develop students into responsible leaders for the future with a vision of creating a better world for everyone. Wondering how they make an impact? Visit the Enactus Twente website.