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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Denise M Wilson
ENGR 380
Seattle Campus

Design for Sustainability in the Developing World

Introduction to issues in international sustainable development from an engineering perspective. Combines lectures on current approaches and potential pitfalls with work on group projects related to sustainable development efforts of Engineers Without Boarders. Develops research and design skills using real life projects. Intended for students from all backgrounds. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AW.

Class description

This course will cover contemporary topics related to human struggles in the developing world in the context of how technology can be used to improve and sustain quality of life. Lecture topics include improving the safety and supply of global drinking water, increasing the safety of women in daily life, reducing indoor air pollution via improvements in cooking stove technology, building localized power systems, and others. Through a quarter-long group project and presentation, students will have the opportunity to define their own topic of interest in the developing world and evaluate how engineered technology can be used to improve quality of life for impacted populations.

Student learning goals

Understand the limitations of the global drinking water supply and primary sources and concern for contamination of drinking water.

Explore how technology can be used to protect women in the developing world from sexual assault and attack.

Identify the major steps and challenges involved in designing a local power grid to support villages and other communities in the developing world.

Identify the primary sources of air pollution in the developing world, the impact of indoor cookings stoves, and the technologies that can be used to reduce the health impact of these stoves.

General method of instruction

1 hour of lecture per week (alternating between guest lecture and instructor lecture) 1 hour of group work per week in class (focused on student defined topics of interest)

Recommended preparation

An interest in how engineering can improve the lives of those living in developing world societies.

Class assignments and grading

Attendance Group Project (Presentation, Report)


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Denise M Wilson
Date: 02/12/2013