Award for Engineering a Better World

IEEE is seeking submissions for its new Region 6 Humanitarian Engineering Project Award, intended to recognize outstanding work in the field.

Humanitarian engineering in action: University of San Diego students worked with Pinal de la Cana villagers to install a water chlorinator in the Dominican Republic. Image Credit: Dr. Truc Ngo, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, University of San Diego

Humanitarian engineering in action: University of San Diego students worked with Pinal de la Cana villagers to install a water chlorinator in the Dominican Republic. Image Credit: Dr. Truc Ngo, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, University of San Diego

Every year, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recognizes engineering projects that show exemplary work in a variety of engineering disciplines. This year, the Region 6 Humanitarian Committee will deliver a prestigious new humanitarian engineering project award to a team of IEEE members that completed an outstanding project in the field.

Humanitarian engineering projects aim to help marginalized peoples through technology. The term includes projects like building small-scale renewable power sources for villages in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. It also can apply to social programs like one that assists lower-income people in Ohio with learning about and adapting to technology.

The team that wins will be recognized at IEEE’s Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, held Oct. 13-16 in Seattle, Washington, where they will participate in overall proceedings and be granted the award.

“The program is intended to promote successful humanitarian engineering projects and activities to help less fortunate people across the world,” said Truc Ngo, technical program chair for the 2016 IEEE conference. “It is also intended to encourage innovation and usage of humanitarian technology solutions to make positive impacts in people’s lives.”

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Successful installation of water chlorinator to reduce disease outbreaks in Pinal de la Cana, Dominican Republic. Image Credit: Dr. Truc Ngo, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, University of San Diego

The Region 6 Humanitarian Committee posted the following judging criteria for humanitarian projects:

  1. Originality and innovation: New or innovative application of technology, design, materials, processes/methods
  2. Resourcefulness in planning and solving humanitarian problems: Complexity of the problem and creativity in solutions
  3. Community impacts: Impacts on the local community and participation by local community members
  4. Sustainability considerations: Environmental, social and economic
  5. Scalability: Potential for growth to serve more people in the same region or replication in other locations
  6. Project planning and delivery: Financing, budget, and schedule.

 

All contest entrants must address each of these criteria and explain what makes their specific project unique in the official submission. Other necessary components of that submission include:

  1. Completed entry form
  2. Brief description of the project, not to exceed 250 words
  3. Summary describing how the project meets the judging criteria, not to exceed 1,000 words
  4. Summary describing any technology used in the project and any lessons learned
  5. Six to 10 color photographs of the projects, including some with participants
  6. Attachments such as articles or video links from local papers and news sources, and/or written/audio/video statements from the community describing how the project has impacted their lives, if available. Affidavits should also be accompanied with these submitted statements/videos/photos, authorizing their use for future project publicity.

 

All of the information in the submission should be written in language that is as clear and as generally accessible as possible, as the Region 6 Humanitarian Committee noted that its jury may have a variety of backgrounds that may not correspond exactly with those of the applicants.

All applicants should send their completed submission to HEawards@ieee.org before July 1, 2016.

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