24 Jul 2024

Engineers Without Borders UK celebrates 20th Anniversary

Engineers Without Borders global compass

Engineers Without Borders UK is celebrating its 20th Anniversary with a renewed commitment to putting global responsibility at the heart of engineering. The charity launched a 12-month educational campaign exploring the essential knowledge, skills and mindsets needed to practice globally engineering during a celebratory event at its offices in Oval, London recently.

During the event, influential industry thought leaders discussed what it means to be an advocate in engineering. Panelists included Georgia Elliott-Smith, founder and managing director of Element Four, Verel Rodrigues, Campaigns Manager at Ecotricity, and Yewande Akinola, VP of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Commenting on reaching their milestone, John Kraus, CEO of Engineers Without Borders UK said: “Over 20 years, we have inspired tens of thousands of people to put global responsibility at the heart of engineering practice. Our programmes have shown what can be achieved, and we are as determined as ever to ensure that engineering plays the fullest possible role in meeting the needs of people and planet”.

Running from April 2024 until March 2025, Engineers Without Borders UK will be focusing on one competency per month from their Global Responsibility Competency Compass. The competencies cover essential knowledge, skills and mindsets, such as technology stewardship, creative collaboration, and social and ecological wellbeing. Each month, Engineers Without Borders UK will deliver thought leadership content – including events, videos and written pieces – that dive into the topics relating to each competency. The aim is to help engineering practices and educators embed a globally responsible approach into their training and to encourage more businesses and individuals to participate in Engineers Without Borders initiatives.

Engineers Without Borders UK has made significant progress in reshaping the engineering mindset since its inception 20 years ago. It has grown in stature and influence and today offers various strategic partnering, sponsorship and educational initiatives for business and academia. Among its achievements are the Engineering for People Design Challenge, which to date has helped more than 70,000 undergraduate students across the world to understand their impact as engineers on both people and the planet.

Another milestone in the charity’s work to transform engineering education is the Reimagined Degree Map. This provides an interactive guide for engineering departments, which supports them in navigating the decisions that are urgently required to prepare students for 21st-century challenges.

The Global Responsibility Competency Compass, on which the current campaign is based, was developed with the support of the Royal Academy of Engineering and is endorsed by the Engineering Council. It offers individuals, teams and companies a clear pathway to identify strengths and any gaps in the skills needed to ensure projects deliver sustainable, equitable and ethical results, and provides access to practical learning resources.

Kraus concluded: “We continue to grow in size, reach, impact and ambition. Our focus now is on reaching the tipping point where global responsibility becomes integral to the way all engineering is taught and practised.

This campaign may draw upon the lessons learned by Engineering Without Borders UK over the last 20 years, but it is firmly focused on addressing the issues that the planet and society face today”.