American Univesity of Beirut

Academic Initiatives


    Design Course

    HEI offers its flagship course on Humanitarian Engineering: "Designing Solutions for Health Challenges in Crises" annually. This course encourages participants to use engineering designs to address humanitarian challenges through collaborative reflections. It is attended by professionals and students from various backgrounds (public health, humanities, engineering, ...) and from different countries. ​​​​​​​​The course is a 3-credit course that has been organized in collaboration with the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and International Health at Boston University.

    • About the Course

    ​​​​​​The course model is made of several components including interactive lectures and field visits to underpriviliged communities of people affected by protracted crisis (ex. refugee settlements)​ and facilities for interviews with care workers and refugees. Students work in teams to conduct needs assessments, identify problems, ideate, design, and prototype solutions. We welcome all students and professionals from all over the world. Additional Information about the course is available in this brochure


    • Previous Offerings

    Minor & Diploma Programs

    ​​​​​Minor in Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations​

    The Minor in Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations is offered jointly by the Faculty of ​Health Sciences and the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture.

    The minor is open to undergraduate students from all majors. It is a multidisciplinary offering that provides undergraduate students with the knowledge of the humanitarian engineering field, and equips them with the skills required to find innovative design solutions for challenges faced by disadvantaged populations taking into consideration two complementary perspectives; public health perspective and engineering perspective.


    Students who complete the minor will be able to:

    1. Apply participatory needs assessment tools and analyze the different dimensions of a public health problem
    2. Apply formal design methods to develop practical, feasible, scalable, and sustainable humanitarian engineering and public health innovations and interventions
    3. Apply skills required to manage complex projects while working in multidisciplinary teams
    4. Demonstrate entrepreneurial skills to take a solution/intervention from prototype to  product
    5. Articulate and adhere to ethical standards in the process followed and in the intervention designed
    6. Present and document a problem and its solution to a diverse target audience

    Requirements for the Minor

    The minor in Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations consists of 15 credits, according to the following requirements:

    • HEHI 201, “Foundations of Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations"​
    • HEHI  202, “Capstone: Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations"
    • One design course from the following list: AGSC 330, ARCH 039, ARCH 061, ARCH 064, ARCH 344, BMEN 501, CHEN 351, CHEN 471/571, CHEN 619, CHEN 798A, CIVE 552, CIVE 601, CIVE 628, CIVE 686, EECE 461, EECE 560, EECE 675, ENMG 663, ENMG 698E, ENSC 633, ENST 300, FSEC 310, FSEC 315, HPCH 204, HPCH 212, HPCH 237, INFO 205, LDEM 254, LDEM 298, LDEM 633, MECH 430, MECH 530, MKTG 234, NFSC 306, PBHL 303, URDS 664, URPL 641
    • One ethics course from the following list: BUSS 215, INDE 410, MCOM 215, MHRM 304, PHIL 205, PHIL 209, PSYC 305
    • One social entrepreneurship course from the following list: AGBU 229, ARCH 068, ENMG 654, ENTM 240, ENTM 320, INDE 412, MFIN 359

    Students interested to enroll in the minor are encouraged to inform the coordinators of the program at  to benefit from adequate advising on study plans and ensure completion of all requirements.

    HEHI 201 - Foundations of Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations;  3 crs.

    This is a multidisciplinary course that covers fundamentals of designing solutions for health challenges faced by disadvantaged populations. It introduces tools for identifying humanitarian and/or development needs and designing practical, scalable and sustainable solutions and interventions. The course is offered to students from all majors. Students will be exposed to health and health system challenges in addition to design fundamentals including participatory needs assessment, formal multidisciplinary design processes, and relevant technologies and tools with real world applications and case studies.​

    HEHI  202 - “Capstone: Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations Capstone"; 3 crs. 

    The capstone project course is an interdisciplinary service learning design course focused on development and humanitarian engineering solutions for health challenges. The capstone is divided into two sub-courses, HEHI  202A (1cr.) and HEHI  202B (2cr.), and must be registered in 2 consecutive semesters. In the capstone, students apply all tools learned in HEHI 201. Students work in multidisciplinary teams with disadvantaged communities, under joint supervision of at least two mentors from MSFEA, FHS, and other faculties.​

    Prerequisite: HEHI  201

    Upon prior approval of the students' advisor and the coordinators of the Humanitarian Engineering Initiative, students who are required, as part of their degree requirement, to complete a capstone or final year project, can count that experience towards fulfilling the capstone requirement for the minor.

    To graduate with the minor, a student must attain a cumulative average of 70 or more in courses taken to satisfy its requirements.

    Certificate Option

    Students can opt for a certificate in Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations.

    The “Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations" certificate requirements are:

    • HEHI 201, “Foundations of Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations"
    • HEHI 202, “Capstone: Humanitarian Engineering and Public Health Innovations Capstone"
    • An internship approved by the Humanitarian Engineering Initiative of at least 8 weeks full-time

    Students should declare the certificate before completing the requirements.

    Upon prior approval of the students' advisor and the coordinators of the Humanitarian Engineering Initiative, students who are required, as part of their degree requirement, to complete an internship or practicum, can also count that experience towards fulfilling the internship requirement for the certificate.​


    Coming Soon!​

    Current Projects

    ​​​​​​​Integrating the WEFRAH Nexus in Humanitarian Engineering​

    This project aims to engage faculty members and students from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) at AUB in the Humanitarian Engineering course.  It supports students’ projects through seed funds to ​scale up some of the developed solutions/prototypes in the course that address the water-energy-food-health (WEFRAH) nexus.​

    Broadening Impact​

    ​A three year grant was awarded by the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture Trust Fund with the aim to broaden the impact of the Humanitarian Engineering Initiative via:

    • Developing new educational material;
    • Providing AUB students with international humanitarian engineering related academic or internship opportunities;
    • Hosting students for their practicum or internship and fund the implementation and assessment of interventions in the field;
    • Offering capacity building workshops and training on relevant professional skills such as writing grants and social entrepreneurship in the field of humanitarian engineering and development.​

    Completed Projects


    ​​In June 2019, a 1-day Solveathon was carried out as part of of the Solve initiative at MIT with the purpose to connect innovators with resources to solve global challenges.

    During the workshop, the HEI team trained AUB students along with members of the Youth Committee of our partner community in Sin El Fil.

    The aim was to introduce Community-Driven Innovation and Healthy Cities, and train youth to focus on challenges facing their community and design innovative solutions.​

    ​​​Pre-College Mentoring Program 2019​​​

    With the rapid advancement of technology, it is important to provide the younger generation with the skills and knowledge they need to keep up with the vast technological potential.

    HEI participated in a Pre-College mentoring program in 2019 during which we delivered hands-on training modules in Electrical Engineering and Robotics with health applications for Grade 11 students.

    The aim was to train high school students before they start their post-secondary education.​​​​​

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