UTHumanitarian Engineering

Humanitarian Engineering

Eradicating poverty is not an act of charity, it is an Engineering and Scientific task.

Humanitarian Engineering aims to resolve problems in areas with serious structural or coincidental resource limitations and to cocreate appropriate solutions to better people's lives. 

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? 

From an Humanitarian Engineering Perspective, our goal is ambitious and twofold: we are setting up a Humanitarian Engineering Master Programme that could support our existing research lines in Humanitarian Engineering. 

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 an joint initiative of  the three faculties Engineering Technology (ET), Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) and Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS).

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 to push forward research boundaries for improving our society. The 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 interdisciplinary skills and researchers that are able to analyse the basic problems of areas affected by crisis 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.

With Humanitarian Engineering we combine engineering with social science. We believe that both social and technical solutions are needed to tackle complex humanitarian challenges. One of the main ones being poverty alleviation.

Peter Chemweno, assistant professor in Advanced Manufacturing

Key domains

The Master programme will focus on three main domains that represent its backbone:

  • Humanitarian Aid Engineering

    Humanitarian Aid Engineering is all about immediate responses in times of need. You can think of, for example, quick solutions for water supply, communication connections, first de-mining actions, or flexible and modular facilities. At UT we focus on developing engineering innovations to serve humanity, especially in the direction of more vulnerable and underserved communities.

  • Resilience Engineering

    Resilience Engineering is about long-term planning and capacity building. You can think of, for example, maintenance planning, education facilities, robust infrastructures, but also context and cultural awareness and co-creation. At UT we focus on a synergetic and common effort to increase the well-being and the global sustainable growth by significantly decreasing disaster risk.

  • Responsible and Sustainable Entrepreneurship

    Responsible and Sustainable Entrepreneurship is about the implementation and value creation from technology in a local and volatile context. You can think of, for example, job creation and small-scale economy planning.

Stay up to date about Humanitarian Engineering

In our podcast, our Humanitarian Engineering group introduces humanitarian engineering actions and their importance to society. We talk with our guests about initiatives that develop engineering solutions that promote the well-being and lives of people lacking access to fundamental resources. We release one episode per month. 

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