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Humanitarian Engineering Overview

Humanitarian Engineering


Humanitarian Engineering at Ohio State aims to educate students on the application of science and engineering to address complex societal challenges with an emphasis on collaborating with communities to achieve their desired vision of well-being through a curriculum grounded in proven theories of sustainable development and applied engineering and socio-cultural learning experiences.

Our Values, Defined:

  1. A human-centered and community-centered approach to problem co-definition and solving: A design philosophy that empowers an individual or team to design products, services, systems, and experiences that address the core needs of those who experience a problem. In particular, valuing the community needs and goals over all others and the community well-being is valued over any benefit to student learning or institutional acknowledgement. The program aims to educate engineers in the co-definition, co-conceptualization of solutions, and co-implementation of projects with communities.
  2. Inclusivity and equity in solution development and implementation: The practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.
  3. Professionalism: Always acting in an ethical, accountable, poised and respectful manner.
  4. Humility: Acknowledging the importance of others relative to ourselves.
  5. Appreciating all knowledge and lived experiences

Educational Objectives 

Our graduates will be:

  1. leaders in local, national, or international organizations, such as non-governmental organizations, foundations, and academia.
  2. leaders within their community or organization that actively promotes a culture of social responsibility, social justice, and outreach.
  3.  developers and/or implementers of innovative solutions that aim to advance the human condition that incorporate the complex social, economic, and cultural factors of those they impact.

Humanitarian Engineering Minor, Contact Information

Leslie Callihan
Director of International Initiatives

Humanitarian Engineering Scholars Program

Ada Keohane
Humanitarian Engineering Scholars Program Manager

Learn more about the HE scholars program at Ohio State and how to apply.

“The humanitarian engineering projects I have been involved with at Ohio State have been the most meaningful projects I worked on. These experiences have taught me topics I would never learn in the classroom including working with people across cultures and understanding the social impacts of engineering. I have also met my closest friends and formed great relationships with mentors through this work. Most importantly humanitarian engineering educates students how their talent can be applied to solving complex global problems.” - Matt Parsons, Chemical Engineering, 2022 Grad
Matt Parsons