Engineering for Developing Communities
July 21 through August 15, 2013
English language summer program in Kathmandu, Nepal
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology sits at the forefront of Israeli science and the nation’s impressive high-tech, bio-tech and agro-tech industries. But the Technion is also deeply committed to research, development and action in sustainable community development. Since May of 2008, the Technion has been home to a chapter of the international Engineers Without Borders NGO. Engineers Without Borders is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life. This partnership involves the implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students. The Technion EWB chapter is actively involved in development projects in Israel’s Negev desert Bedouin community, as well as elsewhere in the Middle East.
Continuing this tradition of engineering outreach, the Technion International School and Technion-EWB chapter, in cooperation with Kathmandu University, has launched an ambitious, pioneering program bringing the world’s brightest science and engineering students forward to solve basic development questions in impoverished and underserved communities in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley. At the same time, students participating in the Engineering for Developing Communities program gain invaluable skills in a variety of subjects as well as practical field experience on the ground, bringing their projects and ideas to life for the benefit of others.
Students completing the program will be awarded 2.5 academic credits from the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology. Additional credits may be available through Kathmandu University.
About the Program
As Israel’s premier science-technology university and the country’s largest center of applied research, the Technion is uniquely positioned on the cusp of academic inquiry and practical technological applications. This position comes to the fore in the Engineering for Developing Communities program.
Students will study and practice sustainable community development (SCD) and participatory community development (PCD) in real world conditions. In addition to field trips, social activities and fascinating cultural and language studies (basic Nepalese), the program includes an academic curriculum covering eight core engineering and community development topics:
1. Challenges Facing Developing Communities
Including developed vs. developing world issues, links between health, education, poverty, gender, security and business, corruption and ethics issues, and the UN Millennium Development Goals
2. State of Human Development
Covering concepts of ‘development,’ and their history, politics and economics, and a review of relevant institutions
3. Sustainable Development
Exploring paradigm and components of sustainability and sustainable community development (SCD), systems approaches, sustainability applications on the local, regional and global levels, capacity building as a means to SCD, and an examination of failures and success in existing SCD endeavors
4. Participatory community development
Covering principles, methodology, and tools for carrying out participatory action research (PAR) on local populations and the environment
5. Health and Development
Discussing global health inequalities, addressing poverty and health, principles and goals of global health, environmental health and development
6. Appropriate Technology
Including water, hygiene and sanitation, energy, shelter, research and development, implementation, laboratory research and development
7. Social Entrepreneurship
Business-based community and charitable giving, and fostering local small entrepreneurs and businesses
8.Community Projects: An Integrated Approach
Giving students an opportunity for hands on experience in real Nepalese communities
In addition to the core academic topics, students will take part in laboratory work covering a wide range of concepts, material and skills, including:
· Water-born diseases, water infrastructure and community sanitation infrastructure
· Energy needs and technology solutions in developing communities, including solar panel components, wind power, turbine construction, energy briquettes, and bio-reactors for production of bio-gas
· Locally sourced building materials, compressed earth blocks, and resource management
· Construction and community planning
Housing, Accommodations and Travel
Students will spend part of the program at Kathmandu University’s campus in Dhulikhel, Nepal, located about 30 kilometers east of Kathmandu. With a population of over one million people, Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital and the largest city in the Himalayas. In recent years, Kathmandu has become a major international tourism destination and is home to an exciting array of art, culture and history, including several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In addition to classroom and laboratory work on the Kathmandu University campus, students will venture out to small villages in the Kathmandu valley. During this field work, students will be able to practice hands on engineering in order to address real life problems, energy needs and infrastructure shortages facing local residents. At the same time, students will also have a truly once in a life time opportunity to experience life in this unique and fascinating region. Students will be housed in local accommodations or field tents during this portion of the program.
The Engineering for Developing Communities program will provide students with all meals, housing and program related transportation within Nepal. Participants are responsible for the cost of flights to and from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport.
Applications and Admissions
The Engineering for Developing Communities program is open to undergraduate engineering and science students with at least a 3.0 GPA. Medical students are also invited to apply.
Students are asked to submit their current university transcripts along with a letter of recommendation from a professor or academic advisor and a personal statement regarding their interest in the program.
Application forms and further details are available on our website: www.ise.technion.ac.il
Program Costs and Tuition*
Participation in the program costs $5,000.
Additional fees for registration and health insurance may apply.
*Prices are subject to change due to Technion decision, fluctuations in market prices and currency exchange rates. Tuition fees do not cover applicants’ airfare to and from Nepal. Please see our website for further details and additional costs.