The role of engineers in contributing to global poverty reduction and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is evolving. Typically, the engineer’s role in addressing these challenges has been confined to community-, regional-, or national-scale service interventions and technology design and development. After fifty years of such approaches, over half the world’s population still lives on less than $5.50 a day. With our innovative approach to training globally responsible engineers that builds on over 15 years of graduate and undergraduate education, the Mortenson Center is working to change that. 

The Mortenson Center trains engineers to work in partnership with institutions and communities worldwide to develop improved tools, technologies and methods to address global challenges. Our program is based on the principle that students educated in Global Engineering should be prepared to solve engineering and science problems within the socioeconomic, environmental and political constraints often encountered in low resource settings. Global engineers will develop and validate methods, tools, technologies and standards that are broadly useful to the private, public and non-profit sectors. 

Global engineers at the Mortenson Center will learn the historical and present causes of persistent poverty and systemic barriers to prosperity. This knowledge will inform the choices engineers make and help move the engineering sector away from a product and community-level focus to a focus on addressing the root causes of poverty. The Mortenson Center positions Global Engineering as a complement to Global Health and Development Economics while embracing a historically contextualized and anti-colonial training. 

Read more about our methodology in the article authored by Mortenson Center faculty, staff and students titled:  A Body of Knowledge and Pedagogy for Global Engineering.