EWB Challenge


Today’s university students will be entering their careers in a rapidly-changing world facing complex global challenges and must be introduced to the skills required to navigate this complexity from the day they begin their study. Future technical professionals must be enabled to explore and grow a broad skill set alongside an understanding of the role they might play in the addressing the interconnected social, environmental, and economic challenges facing our world.

The EWB Challenge

The EWB Challenge program enables university academics to build the competencies of first-year students in areas such as the engineering design process, professional practice, and sustainable development theory through engagement on real-world project briefs integrated into the curriculum. Project briefs are brought to life by engagement opportunities with EWB Australia and EWB New Zealand, and immersive resources through which students can dive deeply into a project context. The materials on the EWB Challenge website, including a monitored discussion forum, support students as they develop creative, appropriate, technically-sound design proposals.

Each year EWB Australia partners with universities and a different community-based organisation to develop and deliver the EWB Challenge Program. By participating in the EWB Challenge students are presented with a fantastic opportunity to design creative solutions to real-world, community-identified projects. Representatives from the partner organisation are invited to view the top student work at a Showcase event, and all ideas are shared back with the potential for future development.

The EWB Challenge is open to students undertaking a university course registered with the EWB Challenge. The course may run in Semester One or Semester Two. Students studying in the disciplines of engineering, architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, science, business, or social science are all encouraged to participate.


New to the program and interested in learning more? Head to the 'Get Involved' page!


Program Aims

Engineers Without Borders Australia is working toward the goal of a transformed engineering sector where every engineer has the skills, knowledge, experience, and attitude to contribute to sustainable community development and poverty alleviation.

The EWB Challenge program aims to contribute to this broader goal by working at the university level to enable change within the engineering curriculum. The program is helping to shape future engineers by working to the following objectives:

  • introduce first year university students to concepts of human-centred engineering through working on real-world projects
  • inspire university students to gain an increased awareness of the role of engineers and technical professionals in society
  • support EWB community-based partner organisations through project scoping and resource development, access to student design ideas, and the sharing of knowledge and resources with universities internationally

Where 'humanitarian engineering' refers to a people-centred, strengths-based approach to improve community health, well-being, and opportunity.