The Sustainable Engineering for International Development Track applies a whole-systems approach embedded in the program’s core curriculum to the context of development practice. The track’s introductory course sets the scene by introducing frameworks for ethical engagement and successful implementation of development interventions. Subsequent track courses provide a technical toolbox covering key engineering applications to development including water & sanitation infrastructure, electricity, and information and communications technologies.

Key knowledge, skills and capabilities include:

  • Ethical foundation and ability to critically consider external interventions in developing communities
  • Core competencies for development practice:
    • Project design and management
    • Participatory appraisal methods
    • Capacity strengthening
    • Monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL)
  • Whole-systems thinking and ability to engage with development challenges as complex dynamic systems
  • An applied understanding of the concept of appropriate technology
  • Ability to apply user-centric approaches to design
  • Technical toolbox and strong knowledge base in one or more areas relevant to engineering applications for development
  • An entrepreneurial spirit complemented by an understanding of constraints unique to innovation in low-resource environments

Top research areas:

  • Water supply infrastructure
  • Information and communications technologies for development
  • Off-grid renewable energy technologies
  • Humanitarian technologies

Key courses include:



Bill Lorenz
Sustainable Engineering Program Director and Professor of Practice

610-519-6195 |

Anna Salvati
Assistant Director, Sustainable Engineering

610-519-6631 |