OSU Launches Humanitarian Engineering Program

SciShort_1_21_16Students at OSU have a new minor they can get from the College of Engineering, and it combines resource management with social justice and other communications disciplines. In short it’s a Millennial’s scholastic wet dream. Welcome to humanitarian engineering. Before we begin the first course, please make sure you didn’t sign up because you thought this was a class on making a humanoid robot…

Mechanical engineering professor Kendra Sharp is the first Richard and Gretchen Evans Profesor in Humanitarian Engineering at OSU and the head of the program. She commented on it in a recent press release.

“The program is attracting a more diverse group of prospective students than is typically attracted to engineering, including women,” said Sharp.

OSU is already in a select group of universities pursuing this emerging education direction, offering a Peace Corps Master’s International program, one of only ten schools in the nation to offer such a program. And other OSU engineering projects have been making their mark in water and other resource management and preservation in the developing world.

While the new program at OSU is currently only a minor, we’re sure to soon see new programs sprouting up all over the country, and particularly Oregon, that offer majors and master’s programs in what has been termed the umbrella of social justice.

“Is there any money in that?” simultaneously asked every parent of a student enrolling in the program. That much is yet to be seen.

By Sidney Reilly