151-8101-00L  International Engineering: from Hubris to Hope

SemesterAutumn Semester 2022
LecturersE. Tilley, M. Kalina
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


151-8101-00 GInternational Engineering: from Hubris to Hope3 hrs
Thu15:15-18:00ML F 34 »
E. Tilley, M. Kalina

Catalogue data

AbstractSince Europe surrendered their colonial assets, engineers from rich countries have returned to the African continent to address the real and perceived ills that they felt technology could solve. And yet, 70 years on, the promise of technology has largely failed to deliver widespread, substantive improvements in the quality of life. Why?
ObjectiveThis course is meant for engineers who are interested in pursuing an ethical and relevant career internationally, and who are willing to examine the complex role that well-meaning foreigners have played and continue to play in the disappointing health outcomes that characterize much of the African continent.

After completing the course, participants will be able to
• critique the jargon and terms used by the international community, i.e. “development”, “aid”, “cooperation”, “assistance” “third world” “developing” “global south” “low and middle-income” and justify their own chosen terminology
• recognize the role of racism and white-supremacy in the development of the Aid industry
• understand the political, financial, and cultural reasons why technology and infrastructure have historically failed
• Debate the merits of international engineering in popular culture and media
• Propose improved SDG indicators that address current shortcomings
• Compare the engineering curricula of different countries to identify relative strengths and shortcomings
• Explain the inherent biases of academic publishing and its impact on engineering failure
• Analyse linkages between the rise of philanthropy and strategic priority areas
• Recommend equitable, just funding models to achieve more sustainable outcomes
• Formulate a vision for the international engineer of the future
ContentRole of international engineering during colonialism
Transition of international engineering following colonialism
White saviourism and racism in international engineering
International engineering in popular culture
The missing role of Engineering Education
Biases academic publishing
The emerging role in Global Philanthropy
The paradox of International funding
LiteratureMcGoey, L. (2015). No such thing as a free gift: The Gates Foundation and the price of philanthropy. Verso Books.
Moyo, D. (2009). Dead aid: Why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa. Macmillan.
Munk, N. (2013). The idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the quest to end poverty. Signal.
Rodney, W. (2018). How europe underdeveloped africa. Verso Trade.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits4 credits
ExaminersE. Tilley, M. Kalina
Typeend-of-semester examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionA repetition date will be offered in the first two weeks of the semester immediately consecutive.
Mode of examinationwritten 90 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationThere is a written final exam during the last week of class which covers all material taught during the course, i.e. the material presented during the lectures, readings , and discussions. Guidance to prepare for the exam will be provided throughout the course.
The exam will contribute 50% to the final grade. One compulsory continuous performance assessment will contribute the remaining 50%. It consists of six (6) assignments, the best five of which will be contribute to the compulsory continuous performance assessment grade.
Written aidsNone

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


Places39 at the most
Waiting listuntil 07.10.2022

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