Social Impact projects give you the opportunity to work together with other like-minded engineers to help make a difference for a community. You will experience the added benefits of academic partnership, enhanced learning experiences and the opportunity to make lifelong friendships. 

Humanitarian Engineering is the application of engineering to meet the needs of communities globally; while maintaining a focus on appropriateness and sustainability.

Humanitarian Engineering 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. This includes developing countries as well as marginalised or remote communities in Australia.

The ChallENG Program is the overarching framework connecting students, academics and companies via 5 project-based learning initiatives – Social Impact is one of these initiatives.

Joining a Social Impact project can count towards your Non-Traditional Industrial Training requirement of your Engineering degree.

We offer a huge range of Social Impact project opportunities for you to get involved with. Visit ChallENG Projects to explore what’s on offer.

Student involvement is now recognised for Non-Traditional Industrial Training. Visit the ChallENG Projects section to see what’s on offer.

After participating, our students have experience in practical, real-world engineering projects and are equipped with the skills and competencies to make a valuable industry impact from the onset. Learn about the other benefits of joining by visiting the Social Impact page.

Yes, absolutely! All the students, academics, industry and alumni who participate in The ChallENG Program are invited to the Engineering Education Festival at the end of every year. All the ChallENG projects will be on display, and it will be an excellent networking opportunity for you to meet companies as they recruit the very best students and engage with UNSW’s innovative academics. 

Currently, these projects do not count for course credit - only Non-Traditional Industrial Training. 

However, there are Humanitarian Engineering courses that you can look into during your undergraduate degree at UNSW, check out the website for more details.

Application and Team Formation

Undergraduate UNSW Engineering students in their second year and above, who have completed 42 units of credit are welcome to apply.

Students must have good academic standing to be considered.

Participation is only available for undergraduate engineering students in their second year or above. However, you might be interested in learning about the Vertically Integrated Projects which are open to postgraduate students.

Visit the Join a Team section.

The project team members will go through an application process at the start of the project and be chosen by the supervising academic and team project leaders. The organisational structure of the team will vary for each project.

If you have free electives left, you are welcome to reapply to remain in your team for the remainder of your degree. Alternatively, you can change to another project.   

After applying, students will be invited by the project’s lead academic to meet and discuss joining the team. It is an opportunity for you to ask questions about the project and how the team will function. Students then receive written confirmation if they have been accepted into the team. 

Yes, all students will need to reapply each year for a project.

The ChallENG Program team and/or Academic Supervisor can remove team members from projects if they feel they have broken the eligibility requirements or acted inappropriately in a way that is contrary to the interests of the team and UNSW.

If it comes to the attention of your Academic Supervisor and/or The ChallENG team that a project is negatively impacting your studies, the ChallENG team reserves the right to get an update on your academic standing/performance and assess if you can continue working with the project.

No student may hold membership in a project while under suspension from UNSW.

Industrial Training

At the moment the Engineering World Health Summer Institute counts as Industrial Training.

The EWH summer institute counts as 45 days of traditional Industrial Training.

At the moment, there are not any Non-Traditional Industrial Training Placements available through Social Impact Projects. Watch this space for further updates!

Resources and Support

There are a lot of resources available to prepare for your travel via the UNSW Global webpage.

Additionally, The ChallENG Program team will work with you on these requirements of your specific project.

Projects within The ChallENG Program will have access to the Makerspaces on campus. To gain access to these spaces, you will need to earn your safety access badges. For more information, click here.

If you are a project within the ChallENG Program, you may have access to project storage on campus from your Academic Supervisor or designated school. Project storage space is limited on campus, but we will do our best to accommodate.

The ChallENG Program is here to support the growth of projects within the program and funding will be determined during the time that the project is approved.

If your project received funding from The ChallENG Program, the UNSW Finance Policy applies and purchases will need to adhere to the purchasing requirements within the Faculty of Engineering.

Please note that the funds can only be used for parts and materials in direct relation to building the project or travel costs for competitions. Funds are not given directly to students; they remain within a UNSW Faculty Project account.

Funding from The ChallENG Program is limited each year so projects may have to consider securing other sources of funding such as grants, scholarships, sponsorships and donations.

Special Consideration is available in some circumstances for students participating in projects. This needs to be completed before you register for courses, and it is up to the individual student to arrange this with their Academic Supervisor for the project and the specific Course Lecturer beforehand. UNSW Special consideration procedures apply.

UNSW students and staff can obtain legal advice and services through

All projects within the ChallENG Program are expected to comply with UNSW Health and Safety

You can refer to the following estate management page for working safety on campus:

If at any stage you feel unsafe or need to find support regarding an incident that may have occurred during your participation in a project, you can notify your Academic Supervisor or The ChallENG Program team as soon as possible.

Additionally, you can also visit

Yes, if you are affiliated with The ChallENG Program, you will need to use the appropriative UNSW Sydney Logo Branding and ChallENG Project Pillar Branding when promoting your project. You will need to reach out to the CHallENG team for pre-approval for brand use

All students participating in teams are expected to comply with the UNSW Student Code of Conduct.

The ChallENG Program reserves the right to modify, add policies, and hold students accountable for abiding by such policies. The University reserves the right to hold groups or individuals accountable for inappropriate actions not specifically listed in these standards.