Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders 
Humanitarian Design Summit

The Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Humanitarian Design Summit program is an educational study tour designed to provide students with professional work experience while allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of the role Human-Centred Design and technology play in creating positive change within communities. The program teaches hands-on skills drawn from EWB’s community engagement principles and approaches while giving you the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone.

The Design Summit is for those who want to:

  • Develop new mindsets
  • Develop professional skills
  • Take their learning outside the classroom
  • Prepare for the workforce and stand out
  • Get outside their comfort zone
  • Develop social connections with like-minded individuals

Find more information on the Engineers Without Borders website.

Meet our alumni

Jessica Sharah, Engineers without Borders, Winter Vacation 2019


What do you study and where did you go on your activity?

I am currently completing a Bachelor in Engineering with Honours, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. My Pace International activity was in Cambodia alongside the organisation Engineers without Borders.

What was your role or project at your host organisation?

Our role was focussed on applying a human centred approach on engineering projects. We were situated in various locations in Cambodia including the city Phnom Penh and the Sampin Village- a rural village situated right on the Mekong River. During our stay our objective was to empathise and get to know village locals so as we can truly gage their needs and apply an engineered solution that is sustainable in its location.

This experience highlighted how lucky I have things at home. The only appliances the village locals had were run off a car battery, they had no proper bathroom facilities, showers or air conditioning and the temperatures ranged in the high 30’s as well as humidity. The village lives well bellow the poverty line however they still show amazing resilience, work ethic and gratitude.

Our primary target was to implement a human centred design focused on improving their quality of life, ensuring current practices allow for future generations to come. Some areas we focused on included energy delivery, agricultural practices and poaching. Overall the experience taught us how to design with people directly involved not just for them rather than dumping money and leaving as previous NGO’s have done.

What advice would you give a student who is thinking of applying for a PACE International activity?

The advice I would give would be go for it! Don’t be afraid to take the leap of faith because it can teach you so many valuable life lessons and leave you with a humbling experience that you can forever look back on. It teaches you about different parts of the world and how they operate so differently to how we do at home which is so useful for when entering the real world. It also allows you to meet amazing people who can teach you little things that make big impacts.

What was the best part of your experience?

My highlight from the trip is the 5 days I spent in the rural village. This opened my eyes to how different life is in comparison to my 9-5. I felt pure content in my surroundings and was so grateful to have been given the opportunity to live and integrate with village locals. It was an experience I felt so nervous for and ended up not wanting to leave.

Contact Us

Email: paceinternational@mq.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9850 4473
Instagram: @mqpace

Make an appointment or attend a drop-in session: If you would like to speak to a PACE International staff member, please email us at paceinternational@mq.edu.au.

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