Christian Engineering Education Conference
Dept. of Engineering, Messiah College Grantham, PA
Steven H. VanderLeest
Dept. of Engineering, Calvin College
Grand Rapids, MI
Frank T. Duda
Dept. of Engineering, Grove City College Grove City, PA
Nolan Van Gaalen
Dept. of Engineering, Dordt College
Sioux Center, IA
Christians are called to be both globally aware (Mt. 28:19-20, ) and sensitive
to humanitarian needs (Mt. 25:38-40). This leads to an awareness of abundant
opportunities to give aid, often in ways which may be linked to the name of
Jesus Christ (Mt. 5:16, Gal. 6:10, ). Engineering faculty at Christian institutions
have a unique stewardship opportunity to channel the enthusiasm of students
who are eager to apply their newly acquired engineering tools. This paper discusses
a special case of service-learning projects  that involve applying engineering
skills to address problems of the poor in developing nations. These are referred
to here as “international humanitarian” (IH) projects. Four such
projects are summarized, including the design of (1) a women’s hospital
in Nigeria by senior engineering students at Calvin College, (2) a crop irrigation
system in support of a Honduran community development organization by Dordt
College students, (3) a modular and scalable solar power system providing economical
power to remote areas by electrical engineering seniors at Grove City College,
and (4) a water purification system in Guatemala by Messiah College students.
General pedagogical aspects of these projects are documented and discussed in-depth in a parallel ASEE paper. Here we turn our attention to aspects of special interest to Christian engineering educators. We discuss (1) the objectives that motivate IH projects, (2) steps to enhance achievement of these objectives, and (3) a reflective assessment of how well each project fulfilled these objectives. We conclude by highlighting implications for future IH student projects, taking into consideration good stewardship of limited monetary and human resources (Mt. 25:14-30).
 VanderLeest, Steven H. and Nielsen, Edward G., "Global Engineering
and the Liberal Arts," Proceedings of the 1998 American Society for Engineering
Education (ASEE) Conference, Seattle, WA, 1998.
 Duda, Frank T., “Experiences with Identifying Senior Level Engineering
Design Projects to Meet Developing Country Needs,” Proceedings of the
4th Christian Engineering Education Conference (CEEC), June 19-21, 2002, Montreal,
Canada, pp 18-22.
 Tsang, E., Projects That Matter: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning
in Engineering, American Association for Higher Education, 2001. Preview: www.aage.org/service/series_new.htm
 Green, M.G., Wood, K.L., VanderLeest, S.H., Duda, F.T., Erikson, C., Van
Gaalen, N., “Service-Learning Approaches to International Humanitarian
Design Projects: A Model Based on Experiences of Faith-Based Institutions,”
Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, June 2004.
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