WEAID and engineers working in International Development

By Danielle Yena Ahadzie

What is ID?


International Development is a broad term that encompasses all types of development work in the international community; development workers can be from any profession and are usually involved in projects such as providing health services, shelter or food aid to people in developing countries.
In the context of engineering and particularly civil, international development work involves applying engineering principles in a way that is appropriate to the country in which it is used and ensures sustainability of the technologies introduced.
Western Civil Engineering (CEE) & ID students are committed to raising awareness about global or international development issues and how the engineering community is both well trained and equipped to help find innovative solutions to problems facing the developing world. ID work highlights the need for socially-minded engineers who are able to analyse situations quickly and accurately, confidently make difficult decisions, think outside the box and are able to envision the long-term effects of their work. In other words, ID workers require many other qualities in addition to their practical engineering skills.



To help fulfil this need, the Western Engineering Association for International Development (WEAID) was created by a group of globally minded engineering students in the Civil and ID undergraduate program at Western. Our mission statement says “WEAID strives to foster socially minded engineers by providing an outlet for students to apply practical engineering skills in a development setting. The challenges faced and experiences gained enable students to better tackle complex global and societal issues as Professional Engineers upon graduation.

WEAID was developed with three goals in mind. Firstly, ensuring the sustainability of the ID programs offered in engineering by setting up formal mentorships between students going on the development internship and students who have returned, as well as promoting the ID program to incoming students. Secondly, WEAID aims to increase outreach to the London and Western communities via presentations of our past achievements and future projects.  Finally, WEAID serves as a brand for International Development Programs in Western Engineering- and even though the ID option is currently offered only in Civil- the demand for all types of engineers in international development provides opportunities for expansion of this program into other disciplines.
In the Civil Engineering and ID program, students are challenged to apply their practical engineering skills in a development context when they undertake a three month internship in a developing country. The internships undertaken enable students to experience first-hand the necessity of cultural aspects in generating appropriate solutions to problems. Full immersion in the host-country culture is further emphasised with the students living with a host family to experience the day-to-day existence of people in the developing world enabling them to develop more appropriate technologies and solutions i.e. our students live the life and are therefore to be able to know what is needed and understand how it will help.
The official WEAID Launch Night will be on February 16th, 2011 from 5.00-8.00pm at The Wave in the UCC. This event will provide a chance to mingle with current and past students as well as professionals involved in development work. For more information on the program, organisation and the launch night, visit our website at www.eng.uwo.ca/weaid/ or email weaid@uwo.ca .
Lots of global <3,
The kids in WEAID :)

Also from this web page:/p>

Upcoming Events

This Month

Feb 6th – 12th: International Development Week - CIDA

Feb 16th: WEAID Launch Night

Next Month

Stay tuned for the WEAID World Puzzle Challenge

Contact Us

Western Engineering Association for International Development
T: 5190-661-2111 ext. 80974
E: weaid@uwo.ca

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Updated February 10, 2011 by contactWE
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