Responsible Engineering Designathon

EWB logo.jpg

Engineers Without Borders UK 

in partnership with àz ūkó



Welcome to the 2021 Responsible Engineering Designathon, a month-long collaborative student design challenge hosted by Engineers Without Borders UK in partnership with AzuKo.


This nationwide event invites university students across the UK to engage in the same design challenge simultaneously, providing a space for collaboration and making the most of remote working.


Engineering changes the way we live and has both a positive and negative impact on the world. Despite the evidence, a narrow view of what engineering is and what it should be continues to persist throughout the industry. Producing inclusive outcomes that meet the needs of society requires the acknowledgement of engineering’s shortcomings, and radical thinking about how it can develop toward a more equitable and sustainable future.

The Challenge

Your team must pitch an idea for how to make the engineering sector more globally responsible. 

The sky’s the limit – we want you to get creative.  As long as you consider the social, environmental and economic impact of your idea, the rest is up to you. You could design a campaign, digital platform, ethical toolkit or even a new way to educate the next generation of engineers. To help you get started, we have suggested some areas of interest below – you are of course free to choose other areas should you wish. 

  • Engineering education

  • Engineering practice

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Engineering & society


1st February: 

Read the Participant Brief and Guidance document to build upon your understanding of the challenge and guide your design process

12th February:  

Submit a draft proposal (200 - 300 words) outlining your team's idea. This will provide you with an opportunity to receive feedback from the designathon mentors and explore ideas being developed by other teams. 

22nd February:

Submit your final idea with a 3-minute video, a 500 word description, and any supporting documentation (diagrams, photos, calculations, data etc.).

The video presentation can be any format you choose (filmed presentation of team members, animation, narrated slideshow etc.) and should be embedded as a YouTube/Vimeo video.

23rd - 26th February:

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of professional judges.

27th February:

Prizes will be awarded by the judging panel to the teams that have most effectively considered the social, environmental and economic impacts of their solutions.


By taking part in the designathon, teams agree to share their solutions under an open-source Creative Commons license CC BY 4.0. Teams shall own the Intellectual Property of their work, however, they will agree to provide AzuKo and Engineers Without Borders UK permission to use the ideas for a wider benefit.

If you have any queries about this, please get in contact at