Engineers have long recognized that engineering is not socially neutral. At the core of engineering is the idea that engineering is not just for "use and convenience," but for good ("A Historical Definition of Engineering," Edwin Layton). This is reflected in the codes of ethics of most of the major engineering and computing societies, and stands against the notion that engineering’s most important values are efficiency and grand scope. Engineering is not an end in itself, but must define itself through the pursuit of human flourishing.

Students wading in the water of a river while holding their sustainable energy generatorMiami University Senior Capstone project the
Pico-Hydro Generator which is used to
create renewable energy
The Humanitarian Engineering and Computing minor at Miami University is designed to graduate engineering and computing majors who are globally-aware, culturally-sensitive, and socially conscious, and who would use their knowledge to design solutions that enhance the lives of and opportunities for people on a local, national, or international level.

While we believe that Miami’s engineering programs already exceed traditional programs in these aspects, the Humanitarian Engineering and Computing (HE&C) minor will take advantage of unique strengths of Miami and the College of Engineering and Computing and give students additional educational opportunities to enhance their cultural competency and experiential learning through a variety of courses, projects and research opportunities.

Social science research has shown that there are widespread stereotypes about engineering and computer science that might cause a socially conscious student to steer away from these disciplines. By having a Humanitarian Engineering and Computing program, we make it more likely that such students will discover that engineering or computer science actually aligns with their life goals and values. Miami’s liberal-arts focus makes us an ideal institution for a humanitarian-focused engineering and computing education.