Why I Started People Centered Engineering

I’m sure some of you have seen me post about an upcoming trip to Panama that I call People Centered Engineering. Since February 2021, I’ve prayed, organized, re-organized, and sought invaluable guidance on all aspects of this experiential learning program. I hope that this program provides people a glimpse into how Jesus Christ being at the center of my life (His love for me and my pursuit of Him) has motivated me to serve others. After all the planning, the March 14th — March 18th program is what I have created and am offering to UT Austin students.

In one of my earliest writings, I explain why we need people centered engineering — so that we consider the technical and non-technical aspects of global problems. Climate change, access to financial services, and infrastructure projects all contain a human element and should be approached as such. And, as stated, these are global problems, so we should interact globally for solutions. Central & South America do well in sustainably harnessing renewable energy. Africa is well recognized as the leader in mobile payments. Therefore, it only makes sense to provide students opportunities to experience academic, entrepreneurial, corporate, and humanitarian ecosystems in Central & South America and Africa.

Panamá is the perfect place to host the program for a variety of reasons. The Panama Canal is an engineering wonder, its construction displaced West Indian immigrant communities, and Panama City is a regional center for NGOs & corporations. Finally, our local partner, Panama Flying Labs, has extensive experience in using aerial and aqua drones to address social challenges throughout Panama.

After studying at UT Austin, I know that many of my peers share the same global and ethical beliefs behind People Centered Engineering. I hope over the next few years they’ll be witness to what this program becomes. My goal is for this initial trip to Panama to develop into an annual experiential learning program that expands to other countries in Central & South America and Africa.

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