Inspired by our diverse academic interests, experiences, and contexts, we are certain that the engineering curriculum lacks interdisciplinary group projects. This denies engineering students an opportunity to collaborate with students from different fields of study to develop inclusive, user-driven, and sustainable solutions. We are proposing an optional module that can be integrated within different degree subjects and be chosen by students to broaden their perspective.
The module structure will be based on a real-world design project that will be proposed by either commercial industries, development organisations or the academic bodies. The timeframe will be a semester long. The module will include a variety of lectures delivered by different departments that will guide students in their projects and deliver knowledge from diverse subject areas. This project will be an asset to students by developing and sharpening their communication, project management and entrepreneurship skills. The ability of the project to gather collaborative efforts of students from diverse backgrounds will inspire ideas that will be implemented in different communities and might impact on the whole world, considering that United Kingdom Universities have diverse international students.
We are confident that our idea will sharpen engineering students’ thinking to be more inclusive, empathetic, and responsible while designing and implementing their university projects that will produce successful and sustainable solutions. Gaining perspectives from multiple disciplines will help Engineering students to prepare for their work in industry. Students from other backgrounds will not be of exclusion. They will equally benefit from learning environmental, social, and economic impacts of their decisions and understanding the importance of application of their own subject to sectors such as energy, water & waste management, through attending the lectures and working closely with engineers.
The students’ collaborative efforts will underpin the world Sustainable Development Goals in different aspects especially goal number 17, which asserts the need for meaningful partnerships for sustainable development.