Humanitarian Engineering Opportunities

The Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering has a number of partnerships and links with community, not-for-profit and social enterprises working on humanitarian engineering. The benefits of these opportunities are far reaching with students obtaining a deep understanding of the ways their knowledge and skills can help to advance the well-being of humanity as a whole.

What opportunities are available?

Short term opportunities

Opportunities include:

  • Abundant Water (AW) working in Laos, Nepal and Timor-Leste to provide access to clean drinking water through ceramic water filters. 
  • Enable Development (ED) a social enterprise working towards greater empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities. 
  • Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) working towards creating social value through engineering.
  • Okra supporting the development and use of off-grid energy networks.

Abundant Water, Enable Development and Okra were all founded or co-founded by ANU engineering graduates, highlighting the potential of ANU engineers to create lasting and positive social change.

These organisations support a number of student opportunities via research projects, internships and study-tours. This can include working remotely on projects identified by these organisations or taking part in structured study-tours such as the EWB Humanitarian Design Summits and ED Enabled Futures.

Long term opportunities

EWB International Volunteer Placements

EWB works in partnership with developing communities in Timor Leste, Cambodia and Vietnam. Volunteers assist these communities to gain access to the knowledge, resources and appropriate technologies they need to improve their livelihoods.  Working overseas and contributing to local development projects through capacity building, is an experience of a lifetime. It provides volunteers with the ultimate learning and cultural exchange opportunity, both personally and professionally.   These 12 to 20 month positions are voluntary. However, a living allowance will be provided to cover general day-to-day expenses and accommodation. Airfares, insurance, language training and visa costs will also be covered.


How to get involved?

Include your experience as part of your degree

These experiences can be incorporated into courses like ENGN4200, ENGN2706, ENGN4712, ENGN4221, ENGN3100/3200 or the 3rd/4th year Engineering for a Humanitarian Context special topic.

Who to contact to get involved

For further information or to express your interest in opportunities, contact Jeremy Smith.

Available funding to support your experience

OS HELP, as well as short-term scholarships from the Federal Government New Colombo Plan (NCP) (depending on availability) are available to students.  Opportunities typically arise every 6-months, in March and August for EWB and ED study tours, and in April and September for research projects and internships.

Previous experiences

Read about the first cohort of Humanitarian Engineers.  

Read about Sarah's trip to Cambodia.

Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing