Preparing engineers for careers in social innovation and sustainable development

Khanjan Mehta, Irena Gorski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Since its founding in 2002, Engineers Without Borders-USA has grown to have a chapter at almost every university across the nation. Alongside, academic programs in humanitarian engineering and social entrepreneurship are popping up globally. Administrators often think about such programs as vehicles for students to develop their soft skills and meet ABET requirements. There is ample evidence that such experiences develop students' technical skills as well as non-technical skills like teamwork, communication, and ethical decision-making. However, many students get involved because they want to leverage their engineering education to pursue lifelong careers improving the human condition. An approach to helping these students is to identify potential career pathways to aid them in navigating their way. We spent three years interviewing hundreds of STEM innovators working on a range of societal challenges across diverse sectors and organizations in the US and globally. We learned about their work, professional preparation, and career trajectories, and asked them, "What advice do you have for professors and universities as they educate the next generation of social innovators? " This session fosters discussion on the recurrent themes and insights based on their decades of living on the bleeding edge of social innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016
Subtitle of host publicationThe Crossroads of Engineering and Business
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509017904
StatePublished - Nov 28 2016
Event46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016 - Erie, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2016Oct 15 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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