On 18 and 19 June 2015, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Thomas More University College are jointly hosting the ‘Engineering4Society’ conference in Leuven, Belgium.

The conference aspires to make a larger call to engineers to pay attention to the way we think about the consequences of design, materials used, manufacturing processes, and waste disposal practices. It will explore the nexus between communities, environment, education, business, design, and professional engineering. Engineering4Society is an invitation to create new ways to ‘design’ a sustainable future and to provide creative solutions to address problems as poverty, exclusion, addiction, discrimination, violence, hate, and disabilities.

The conference will offer a multidisciplinary platform, looking at inspiring examples from all over the world.

Topics and areas of interest include:

•              engineering case studies focusing on the environment and related social factors;

•              engineering cases that helped to bring more harmony, understanding and compassion;

•              methods of teaching and/or practicing participatory design in engineering;

•              inspiring examples of Engineering4Society in practice.

Speakers and sessions
Over 30 speakers from all over the world will share their expertise and knowledge and present innovative projects and studies focusing on social and environmental engineering. Have a closer look at some of our keynote speakers :

Prof. Dr. Ir. Joost Duflou, KU Leuven, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Belgium .
“Systematic selective recycling is becoming the preferred end-of-life (EOL) treatment. In this lecture the case of EOL treatment of flat screen LCD TVs will be presented. Both the treatment of current product types and the opportunities to facilitate EOL material separation by means of innovative joint design for future models will be discussed.”

Daria Loi, UX Innovation Manager, Intel Corporation, USA .
“In her talk, Daria Loi urges the engineering professions to create sustainable futures by embracing novel processes and by paying attention to the potential consequences of their work. More specifically, this talk focuses on the opportunities offered by Participatory Design practice – on how to develop creative solutions to issues that afflict our planet by partnering with end users and key stakeholders.”

Egbert Lox, Senior Vice President Government Affairs Umicore, Belgium .
“Our current way of life includes the widespread use of many devices. Applying the concept of circular economy can alleviate the stress on the supply situation of the technology metals and solves at the same time the environmental burden devices could constitute at the end of their service life. Applying high technology in all the steps from the conception up to the extraction of the technology metals at the end of its use can maximize the benefits. The presentation will cover these aspects and illustrate the initiatives taken already to endeavors of sustainability and responsibility in these aspects.”

Caitrin Lynch, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Olin College of Engineering, USA.
“Caitrin will speak about the Engineering for Humanity course she co-teaches at Olin College of Engineering (Boston, USA). She will connect the Engineering for Humanity course to the larger Olin goals of embedding social perspectives into engineering education and practice, and she will place it in the wider context of leveraging user-centered design as an important path to educating engineers to embed their work in society.”

Peter-Paul Verbeek, Professor of Philosophy of Technology. University of Twente, the Netherlands.
“Technologies have an inherent moral dimension. How can designers deal with this moral dimension of the technologies they are developing? In his presentation, Professor Verbeek will investigate how the approach of ‘moral mediation’ can inform the ethics of design. The paper will develop a heuristic tool for designers to anticipate the potential moral impact of a technology-in-design, to evaluate its quality, and to design morality into technologies in a responsible way.”

Presentation of the new postgraduate course on Community Service Engineering

The CSE project is developing a European multi-campus joined postgraduate curriculum that will offer engineers a sound background in the social profit sector; insights in user-centered design, and assistive technology, social and intercultural skills to interact with the social profit sector and a collaborative place to learn in an international environment. KU Leuven is working on the curriculum in collaboration with the Thomas More University College.

The Engineering4Society conference is organised by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven  in collaboration with the Thomas More University College . . It is morally and financially supported by the John E. Fetzer Institute (USA) and its intrinsic value is recognised by the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology.

Visit the conference website and learn more about the speakers and the programme.
Registration closes on 12th of June.
The organising committee is looking forward to meet you in Belgium in June.
Questions? Contact ingrid.adriaensen@thomasmore.be