About GDEE


What and why

What is the Global Dimension in Engineering Education project?

The Global Dimension in Engineering Education (GDEE) is an initiative that aims to increase the awareness, critical understanding and attitudinal values of undergraduate and postgraduate students in technical universities related to Sustainable Human Development (SHD) and its relationship with technology. To achieve this, we work on integrating SHD as a cross-cutting issue in teaching activities by improving the competences of academics and through engaging both staff and students in initiatives related to SHD.

Why is it important?

Many technical university courses lack a holistic global view in their teachings. There is often a disconnect between the most important global issues and what is learnt in the lecture hall. For the impacts of major global issues such as poverty and climate change to be lessened, it takes everyone to be involved. And those with the technical skills to help should be encouraged to do so. This starts with education. 

What are the main outcomes desired?

1. To increase competences of academic staff to integrate SHD as cross-cutting issue in teaching
2. To create a network of academics for promoting the integration of SHD into technology studies
3. To facilitate the connection between theoretical knowledge (lecturers and students from universities) with practice (through NGOs)

Who is it for?

Academic staff teaching technical subjects at universities across participating European countries and beyond.


Thinking Globally

“What are the relationships between the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of engineering, and the relationship between global and local systems?"

"What are the global drivers of change?"

"How will these global drivers impact upon engineering?"

"What is the contribution of engineering to positive world change?"

"What technologies and approaches offer the most promise?”

"Is there justice in the current systems of technology research, development and access?" 

There is little doubt about the potential role that education can play in efforts to promote and achieve sustainable human development (SHD). However, a challenge facing the sector is a shortage of academics actively engaged in integrating measures related to SHD in teaching activities, particularly in technical subjects such as engineering and science. 

Adding the Global Dimension

Issues such as climate change, poverty, inequality and globalisation fundamentally shape the world in which we live. In order to prepare engineering graduates for an increasingly complex world, and equip them with the attitudinal values and skills to help tackle key global issues, it is essential that they:

- Develop a holistic understanding of the interconnectedness of all things on our planet
- Understand the ways, both positively and negatively, in which engineering impacts on various issues within the global dimension
- Recognise that engineering is a global profession and that learning about the global dimension is essential, even for those engineers who never work outside their home country

Achieving the Global Dimension

The GDEE project aims to integrate SHD as a cross-cutting issue in teaching activities to improve the capacity of academics working in engineering and other technical subjects to more effectively deliver the global dimension within their programs through a two-fold strategy:

- By improving academics' competencies in introducing SHD into the curricula
- By facilitating the engagement of both staff and students in academic initiatives related to SHD 


Background readings

The Global Engineer - Incorporating Global Skills within UK Higher Education of Engineers . 2008. Bourn, DougNeal, Ian. Engineers Against Poverty/ Development Education Research Centre, Institute of Education, University of London. 

Essential Guide to Humanitarian Good Practice 6th Ed. 2018. Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP). 

Engineering and Sustainable Community Development. 2010. Juan Lucena, Colorado School of Mines; Jen Schneider, Colorado School of Mines; Jon A. Leydens, Colorado School of Mines.

Engineering and Society: Working Towards Social Justice, Part I: Engineering and SocietyEngineering and Society: Working Towards Social Justice, Part II: Decisions in the 21st CenturyEngineering and Society: Working Towards Social Justice, Part III: Windows on Society. 2009. Caroline Baillie, University of Western Australia; George Catalano, State University of New York at Binghamton.

Engineering and Social Justice Synthesis Lectures on Engineers, Technology, and Society. 2008. Donna Riley, Smith College. 

Engineering in Emergencies: A Practical Guide for Relief Workers 2nd Ed. 2002. Jan Davis, Robert Lambert. ITDG Publishing.

Complex Problems, Negotiated Solutions: Tools and Strategies for Reducing Conflict to Promote Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. 2001. Michael Warner, CARE International UK.

Appropriate Technology: Tools, Choices and Implications. 1998. Barrett Hazeltine , Christopher Bull. Academic Press. 

Guidelines for Global Issues in Technology. 1996. Catherine Budgett-Meakin. ITDG Publishing.

Tinker, Tiller, Technical Change. 1990. Matthew Gamser, Helen Appleton, Nicola Carter. IT Publications.

Mobilizing Appropriate Technology. 1988. Matthew Gamser. IT Publications.

Developing Technologies for the Rural Poor. 1984. Stephen Biggs, Ruth Alsop. ITDG Occasional Paper series.

Technology for a Changing World. 1978. John Davis. IT Publications.



The founders


New partners 2015




Funded by

European Commission, EuropeAid, Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development, Raising public awareness of development issues and promoting development education in the European Union. Project Reference: EuropeAid/131141/C/ACT/MULTI, Number of proposal: DCI-NSAED/2011/63. December 2013 - April 2016.

With additional support from:






Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Solidarity Program. "Transversalitzant el DHS en les ensenyances tècniques a l'entorn de Barcelona" Number of proposal: 13S04364. October 2013 - December 2014.

Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Solidarity Program. "Integrar i promoure les problemàtiques globals en els ensenyaments científic-tècnics" (UPC-UAB) Number of proposal: 15S04556. November 2015 - January 2018.