Helping technologists make an impact

When people decide they are in a position that lets them give something back to society, many will start by searching for a group that does good things for causes they support. Three technical societies have joined together to let technologists leverage their talents to help in a number of different areas.

The IEEE, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Engineers Without Borders USA recently launched EngineeringforChange.org. The Website provides tools that let engineers, technologists, and non-governmental organizations collaborate to address humanitarian and global development challenges.

Those global challenges are many. One in four people still live without electricity, the site explains. Nearly one in six lacks ready access to clean water.

E4C, as the new Website calls itself, addresses those and other challenges by providing a range of programs that improve the lives of those who are more interested in the basics of life than in downloading the latest iTunes song or a new version of Angry Birds.

Once volunteers pick out their niche within the E4C options, they can help in a range of ways. They can work collaboratively and virtually on project teams, learn expert practitioners’ ideas on how to apply engineering in developing communities, or they can simply track projects of interest.

Plenty of other volunteer groups are designed for technically-skilled people. FIRST is perhaps the most visible. This new engineering Website should provide a good way for volunteers to use their talents to improve the lives of those in need.

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