What is Humanitarian Engineering? 

Humanitarian Engineering is the application of engineering to meet the needs of communities and in particular focusses on appropriateness and sustainability. It covers a spectrum of activities from disaster response and preparedness to long-term sustainable community development, within Australia and overseas. It is a complementary skill to existing engineering disciplines.

Humanitarian engineers analyse and design infrastructure and appropriate technology to support the well-being and welfare of individuals and communities in disadvantaged circumstances. Their work is undertaken through partnership and engagement with those in need to identify solutions that are wanted, appropriate and sustainable. This includes communities in low and middle-income countries, as well as marginalised or remote communities in Australia. 

Michael Alford

"I gained both technical engineering and agricultural knowledge, and knowledge of the local Myanmar culture, social systems and situation. Additionally, that knowledge is backed up by first-hand experience that serves to cement it in my mind and provide me with a deeper understanding of Myanmar and humanitarian engineering. Also, the trip was amazing fun!"
Michael Alford, Myanmar trip in 2019

Humanitarian Engineering career pathways and opportunities

Humanitarian Engineering opens many opportunities and future career pathways. UNSW Engineering graduates have volunteered with organisations like Engineering World Health or have established their own social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations, such as Kua

Other UNSW graduates have found a career working for multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, engineering consulting, and project management companies. These organisations recognise that humanitarian engineers have an enhanced set of skills to apply to all engineering work including technology development, creativity, communication, partnership engagement, and teamwork.