Engineering for Social Innovation

2015 ~ Present | Qualcomm and Safe Water Now (SWAN)


Use engineering design and development skills for solving social problems and meeting social needs. A collection of ongoing projects are selected from corporate and non-profit organizations. All projects aim to improve the lives of the under-privileged domestic population or people at the bottom of pyramid in the developing world. ESI team members can also propose projects that help organizations which are aligned with their passion. Projects include hardware and software development, app development, and engineering education to eradicate social problems like unclean water supplies, starvation and malnutrition in infants and small children, and lack of education for women and girls in the developing world. The output of each project is a novel and innovative product that is designed and created by the VIP team.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Research in engineering education will be addressed by designing hardware and software products that support the needs of various organizations. Projects also help examine the social impact of and ethical issues related to engineering and computing technologies.

Methods and Technologies

  • Electronic/Electrical/Software System Design, Development, Testing, and Deployment
  • Development of Cell Phone Apps
  • Customer-focused Design
  • myDAQ

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Preferred Interests and Preparation

CmpE, CS, EE, ME, ISyE.

Different projects will require different skill sets and interests, some of which are listed:

Background or interest in power and energy, surface mount soldering, basic circuits and electronics, Matlab, C or C++, and systems/controls.

Team Advisors

Dr. Joy Harris (ECE)

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

Qualcomm and Safe Water Now (SWAN)