IET PSB On Campus: The Humanitarian Engineer Screening.

I was invited to this film screening by the PSB Academy IET on Campus team as a guest and to represent the YPS team and frankly speaking, I had not often considered before what roles a humanitarian engineer could take. After all, the first thing which comes to mind when the term humanitarian is used is usually that of a first responder providing emergency food, shelter and medical aid in the wake of a disaster.
Watching this documentary opened my eyes. Humanitarianism is a much broader field than I had assumed. While it is of course important and critical to provide humanitarian aid in emergency situations, most of the work is done behind the scenes so to speak, providing help through community development and long term support.
This film highlighted how such work is carried out, the thought processes behind making improvements in ways where low tech, easy to use solutions are essential to long term improvements to people’s lives and how engineers from all fields can get involved.
Another thought provoking point made is that engineering is inherently humanitarian as be it by intention or accident, almost all engineering is fundamentally about improving lives but with the warning that sometimes, in the race for technology, we can lose this focus and creating for the sake of creating “because we can”.    
The Q and A sessions both with Ms Sheena Ong, the creator of this film, via webcam and with Ms Mrinalini Venkatachalam from the Singapore based Engineering Good organisation were interesting and built on the themes expressed in the film and to me most importantly, gave immediate answers to the question many of us never get past which is “How can I get involved?”
Special thanks to Nilar Shyun Mya and the PSB Academy IET On-Campus team for organising this event and to all who took part.

Morgan Mackinnon, MIET.

For further information, please see the links below:
The Humanitarian Engineer by Sheena Ong
Blog IET Singapore Network 07/07/2017 11:20am BST

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