Human Centered Engineering for a Sustainable World

Addressing key challenges facing the world demands practitioners in the emerging domain of Human Centered Engineering (HCE). This interdisciplinary and inclusive field of study spans human-centered design, engineering design, art and design, social sciences and business principles. It is concerned with interactive, iterative and creative problem solving and/or product and system development by building empathy with the users to better understand their needs. HCE education employs hands-on learning that inherently connects engineering theory, practice and social relevance. This is essential for educating engineers who will tackle sustainability in our changing world. We share example projects demonstrating this, in which students, educators and community stakeholders design learning tools for a toy library and use recycled material to produce windmills. The outcomes illustrate how Human Centered Engineering prepares practitioners who are ready for the global challenges we face.