Engineering Leadership, Social Justice, and Social Responsibility (Seminar and Workshop)

March 5, 2019 @ 11:10 am – 1:30 pm
GB 202
35 St George St
ON M5S 1A4


On March 5th, we will have two events; a research seminar followed by an interactive workshop. Please see the descriptions below for further information and fill out the RSVP form to indicate if you would like to attend one or both of these events.


Listening as Leadership: Engineers in Community Development and the Extractive Industries

11:10 am – 12:00 pm, GB 202, March 5
Jessica Smith and Juan Lucena, Colorado School of Mines

Learning how to listen to other perspectives – especially from people who are not engineers or who are critical of the organizations for whom they work – is a key but often overlooked aspect of engineering leadership. We begin by profiling engineers who had to learn to listen in order to engage in community development work, and then show that listening also plays a key role in what many would consider to be an unexpected place: the mining and oil industries. For engineers working on controversial projects, listening to critical perspectives has become a key activity as they seek to design processes and infrastructure that address the concerns of their companies as well as their stakeholders. Finally, we share how we are preparing students to listen inside of the Humanitarian Engineering program at the Colorado School of Mines. We argue that contextual listening is a prerequisite for using engineering to promote social justice and social responsibility, and outline course activities to develop engineering students’ appreciation for and ability to engage in contextual listening.


Redefining Engineering Leadership: Teaching Social Justice and Social Responsibility

12:30pm – 1:30 pm, GB 202, March 5
Juan Lucena and Jessica Smith, Colorado School of Mines

Engineers are designed to serve, and service is an essential feature of engineering leadership. Social justice and social responsibility call our attention to those parts of society that have historically not been served by engineering. The goal of this workshop is to collaboratively develop strategies to advance the work that engineering educators do by showing how social justice and social responsibility are inherent to engineering leadership. Engineering educators will come out of this interactive workshop with a) strategies and applications for teaching (socio)technical content via interactive learning b) interventions that promote more robust problem defining and solving processes, c) clarity on how to promote sociotechnical thinking and learning in the next generation of engineers, and d) approaches to engage relevant social justice and/or social responsibility frameworks that place engineering learning in a broader context to motivate why students learn what they learn.