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International Humanitarian Engineering project launches at Warwick

Hum Eng

On 11 and 12 December Warwick hosted a two day launch event to bring together partners from Greece, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Vietnam for a project designed to initiate sustained reform of the graduate engineering programmes at each of the Asian higher education partner institutions.

The project, titled 'ENabling Humanitarian Attributes for Nurturing Community-based Engineering’ (ENHANCE), is being led by Dr. Georgia Kremmyda of Warwick's School of Engineering. The project was awarded a grant of €999k from the European Commission under the Erasmus + Key Action 2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices; Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education.

It builds upon Warwick's innovative Masters in Humanitarian Engineering, which welcomed its first cohort in October 2018. The course uses a unique learning approach to investigate complex humanitarian issues from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives in order to develop balanced, intelligent and synergistic solutions.

Dr Kremmyda said;

"It has been a pleasure to welcome our partners to Warwick and to plan out this project with agreed work packages and deliverables. The ENHANCE project is a forerunner of supporting and strengthening the higher education field in the partner countries by introducing modern, innovative pedagogical approaches, identifying and tackling inherent barriers in quality, knowledge organisation, content, and hierarchy, and ensuring advancement of emerging skills. This will lead to an increase in accountability, raise the quality and consistency of engineering services to the society, and improve in-country capacity to operate safely”.

The ENHANCE project launch event coincided with Warwick's 3rd Symposium on Humanitarian Engineering on 10 December which saw ninety-five registered participants coming together to explore disaster risk reduction, safer engineering and resilience of critical infrastructure. The Symposium, which was supported by the Sustainable Cities GRP, had a geographical focus on South-East Asia and welcomed 42 attendees from this region. Keynote speakers included Mark Harvey, Head of Profession (Infrastructure) in the Research and Evidence Division of the UK Department for International Development; Tom Newby, Head of Humanitarian at CARE International; and Professor Dwikorita Karnawati, Head of Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency. A common theme in the discussions was the need to involve local communities and ensure interdisciplinary and inter-professional co-operation when designing and applying engineering solutions to address humanitarian challenges.

The ENHANCE project involves nine higher education institute partners;

  • University of Warwick, UK
  • University of West Attica, Greece
  • Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
  • Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia
  • Universitas Brawijaya, Indonesia
  • Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
  • University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Ho Chi Minh University of Transport, Vietnam
  • Ho Chi Minh University of Technology, Vietnam