Humanitarian Engineering

Humanitarian engineers focus the skill and capabilities of engineering theory and practice toward aiding the greater good of humanity by offering stakeholder centric solutions to medical and disaster relief, global outreach, human displacement, human safety, food security, cultural awareness/sensitivity, and economic development.

Engineers from this concentration may work in industries such as: the not for profit sector, faith-based charities, NGO’s (i.e.  global aid/global health), international development, as well as state, federal and international government agencies.

Their work may include: leading research and data analysis in problem topics to develop novel approaches to reduce risk and improve outcomes, to developing and designing improved water and sanitation systems, .to project and supply chain management around aid distribution, supply route repair.  The focus of work will always engage a range of stakeholders with many competing interests ranging from time to monetary, religious, geopolitical, raw material and sustainability constraints.

Plan of Study

Humanitarian Engineering (PDF)


Student and Alumni Stories

Student Highlight: Spring '21 Senior Ashley Foltz, Humanitarian Engineer in the Multidisciplinary Engineering Degree Program

Interdisciplinary Engineering 2017 Colloquium

On November 9, 2017, Purdue University College of Engineering faculty panelists discussed the nature of humanitarian engineering across engineering design initiatives, emerging economies, and as global competencies and challenges at the 2017 Interdisciplinary Engineering Colloquium.

Watch the Introduction to our 2017 Colloquium:

Part II discusses the need and growth of Humanitarian Engineering (highlights Angela Collins, MDE Alumna '18)

Last Updated: February 15, 2021