Civil engineering and Plan II senior Zia Lyle and her team work with a local community in India to build a disaster relief shelter

Engineering for the Betterment of Communities

The engineering profession has long been proud of its world-changing contributions through infrastructure, water treatment, medical devices, computers and many other technological advancements that continually impact society. The Cockrell School’s Humanitarian Engineering Program takes engineering for society to the next level, providing undergraduate students with rewarding, multidisciplinary opportunities to focus their learning around communities that need their help the most. Opportunities include:

Humanitarian Product Development Course

Students work in small teams to address needs of people in underserved communities such as refugees, displaced people, and others who have limited resources. Over the course of two semesters, teams work to research, conduct experiments and create prototypes while learning about design, project management, prototyping and other principles of product development. Learn more 

APPLY IN MARCH 2024 FOR 2024-25

Projects with Underserved Communities

For engineering and social work students, Projects with Underserved Communities uses an innovative yearlong course sequence to hone students’ leadership skills and cultural competency while providing much-needed services to communities in developing countries. They collaborate with a local partner and travel to the community to implement the project during the summer following the completion of the academic course. Learn more

APPLY IN MARCH 2024 FOR 2024-25

New Maymester 2023: Technology Needs of Refugee Camps in Greece

In this new Maymester, learn about technology needs in a refugee camp in Greece. Learn from experts on the refugee crisis and humanitarian needs. Conduct and analyze a survey of technology use in one camp and share results with local humanitarian organization. For more information, contact Dr. Janet Ellzey This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Certificate in Humanitarian Engineering

Students who pursue the certificate commit themselves to building better, safer, stronger communities by developing innovative solutions that improve lives. The certificate combines technical and non-technical coursework with project-based initiatives and includes course options in the colleges and schools of Liberal Arts, Communication, Natural Sciences, Engineering and more. Learn more


For more information, contact Dr. Janet Ellzey, Director of the Humanitarian Engineering Program and professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..