"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bridging the Gaps:
Projects for Underserved Communities (PUC) is a program at the University of Texas – Austin involving the Cockrell School of Engineering and the School of Social Work.  It is designed to give engineering students the opportunity to use their academic learning and apply it to real world problems while helping others.  PUC believes in empowering engineering and social worker students to think outside the box and collaborate multiple disciplines in order to come up with a united solution for an issue in an international country. The class encourages creativity, innovation, and sustainability in order to meet the technical and social aspects of a problem. During its pilot year, PUC earned a 2010 International Award for Innovative Practices in Higher Education from the University Design Consortium at Arizona State University.  
Phase I: Project Assessment
The first semester students enroll in a class designed to teach effective project assessment.  The stage-gate process is used to choose the best project based on feasibility, risk, impact, and sustainability. The project proposals must be approved by a Service Learning Advisory Board (SLAB).  This board will be composed of engineering professors from UT and local professional engineers, ensuring the most successful project is chosen.  
Phase II: Concept Selection and Design
Once the project is chosen, the second semester class involves concept selection, design, and fundraising.  Reconnaissance trips are also organized to solidify details with the communities.
Phase III: Project Implementation
During the summer, team members travel to their international destinations to implement the engineering projects with the help of community members and professional volunteers.

Learn more about PUC at www.utexas.edu/international/puc 

1 comment:

  1. Is there a free website to learn CAD Software, eg Pro/E, Unigraphics or Solidworks?


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