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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

The poor often pay more …

  • For food: Since they need to shop in nearby stores where prices are often higher.
  • For housing: Due to the lack of social homes, people with low income are forced to move into privately rented accommodation where they pay too much for a house of poor quality.
  • For energy: Since they often live in houses that are less energy-friendly or because they cannot afford energy-saving investments
  • For health care: Social determinants show a link between poverty and inferior health as a doctor’s consult is often postponed for cost reasons.
  • For loans: Since the less creditworthy pay higher interest rates. Provided they qualify for a loan,…
  • etc.

Community Service Engineering believes engineers and their analytical skills could contribute significantly to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty.

We go into this topic at the third conference in the pre-programme of Community Service Engineering.

More information on this webpage or in our folder.

Participation is free. Registration can be done via this link.

This is the schedule for Thursday 4th of September:

  • 18.30 h: Registration
  • 19.00 h: Word of Welcome – prof. dr. ir. Bart Vanrumste (KU Leuven) – Community Service Engineering
  • 19.10 h: Poverty: a multidimensional problem and policy challenge – prof. dr. Frank Vandenbroucke (KU Leuven)
  • 19.50 h: A view by an expert in the field of ‘Poverty’ – Henk Van Hootegem (Interfederal Support Centre for Poverty Reduction)
  • 20.30 h: Case 1 : Sustainable energy for families in poverty – prof.dr.ir. Griet Verbeeck (UHasselt)
  • 20.50 h: Case 2 : Web application REMI may allow uniformity in additional financial allowances – dr. Bérénice Storms (Thomas More – Cebud)
  • 21.10 h: Round table discussion in the auditorium

You are expected at 18.30 in the Auditorium Oude Molen, Kasteelpark Arenberg 50, 3001 Heverlee. We hope to meet you there!

Best regards,

Inge Vervoort

Project Director Community Service Engineering

cse@kuleuven.be

Please join us:

You can find all presentations and pictures of the first two conferences:

  1. Conference on the topic of ‘Ageing’ that took place on April 3th via this link.
  2. Conference on the topic of ‘Living with a disability’ that took place on May 21th via this link.

Community Service Engineering (CSE) is a continuing education curriculum of KU Leuven that lasts for 8 months (October 2014 – May 2015) for graduated engineers (or nearly graduated engineering students that only still need to finish their master’s thesis).More information on the CSE curriculum:

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information.

Dear engineer,

There is a lot of ‘innovation potential’ in the social profit sector. That potential does not always emerge today because engineers and the sector do not know each other (well enough). Engineers could contribute significantly to the adequate implementation of existing solutions and services on the market in this sector. Furthermore they could play an important role in regard to topics such as the accessibility of public space, buildings, websites, media,…

That is why KU Leuven is organising a postgraduate course in ‘Community Service Engineering’ in collaboration with Thomas More.

We invite you to ‘the pre-programme’ that wants to show the potential of this domain. It consists of three conferences. The topics are:

Welcome!

You can register for one or more conferences. Participation is free but registration is required and can be done via this website: www.fet.kuleuven.be/events/cse or link.

All details can be found in the invitation that is downloadable here.

Sincerely,
Inge Vervoort
Project Director Community Service Engineering