AUB's first humanitarian engineering course on designing engineering solutions to public health problems in humanitarian crises took place in summer 2017. Co-organized by the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Global Health Institute at AUB, it brought together engineering and social design principles to address humanitarian challenges, bridging the gap between practitioners, engineers, scientists, NGOs, and social entrepreneurs, to generate health solutions for conflict-affected populations. The event took place over 3 days, and included lectures, an engineering hackathon, and a competition all focused on designing solutions for health challenges in crises.
The specific objectives of the summer school were as follows:
- Provide foundational knowledge in participatory and collaborative design to actors in the humanitarian field that have no formal training in the design of technologies.
- Familiarize participants with various social and engineering design methods to address humanitarian problems.
- Engage practitioners working in humanitarian settings and engineers/scientists in the process of designing technologies for health.
- Create teams of students, faculty, representatives of NGOs and social entrepreneurs to generate solutions for health issues in conflict-affected populations.
- Encourage the teams to progress beyond the summer school possibly towards a viable solution in the future.