Gabrielle - EWB India Humanitarian Design Summit

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Masters of Engineering
July 2018

My experience

I chose to participated in the EWB Humanitarian Design Summit in India in order to gain an international perspective on the engineering profession. I had previously completed work experience in an alumina refinery - a conventional Western engineering experience. However, I wanted to further understand the role of the engineering profession on a global scale, in a part of the world very different from what I know. I chose India specifically because I had an interest in travelling there and experiencing the country's unique landscape and culture. I also believed that there would be a lot of opportunity for humanitarian design in a country with such a wide economic gap between the working class and the top 1%.


How has the experience changed you?

The experience was very valuable for me on a personal level. By participating in EWB, I had the opportunity to live in an isolated, extremely under-developed community in a beautiful part of the world. I found that, rather than looking for engineering 'problems' to solve, I was in awe of the quality of life that the community enjoyed. They had very little access to the outside world as there was no road to their village and subsequently, their culture and way of living was so well preserved. The community peoples' lives consisted of farming and a lot of manual labour, as well as socialising with one another. I believe that this experience taught me that there are many different ways of living well and that a Western lifestyle - full of technology and industrial living environments - is not necessarily any better than an isolated community nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas with none of the modern technologies.

Favourite memory

Towards the end of the village stay, I ventured through the villages farmlands and along a pathway that led up the mountain. I was truly alone on this walk in the most beautiful place I have ever been - no phone reception, no people.

Top tips

I would definitely recommend EWB to anyone that wants a culturally shocking experience and looking to gain a broader perspective of what engineering means on a global scale.


$3000 from the New Colombo Grant.