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Teaching Innovations: Human Rights & Engineering


Since 2012, the Human Rights Institute and the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut have been building research connections and working to expand interdisciplinary course offerings that address the intersection of human rights and engineering.  These collaborations have made it possible for engineering students to complete a Human Rights minor and for students across departments and schools at UConn to benefit from innovative and interdisciplinary courses that bridge the human rights and STEM fields.

A Human Rights (HRTS) Minor enables engineering students to explore human rights and sustainability in a variety of ways – including within global supply chains, in the renewable energy sector, and relation to public opinion on science and technology. Students gain the skills to assess the risks that business activities can pose to people and the environment. They also analyze how to “re-engineer” product design and production processes to render them more socially and environmentally sustainable.

For Engineering students interested in the Human Rights Minor:

The HRTS Minor is an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary plan of study requiring a minimum of 15 credit hours at the 2000-level or above.  The  requirements can be fulfilled as part of the current Engineering curricula by careful selection of free electives.  Choosing courses that also satisfy a Content Area General Education requirements offers additional flexibility in the minor curriculum (such as CA1D, CA2, CA4, 4INT).

Assessment for Human Rights & Sustainability, Sustainable Energy for the 21st Century, Human Rights and New Technologies and Corporate Social Impact and Responsibility, are just a sample of the innovated and interdisciplinary courses you can choose from to fulfill the minor requirements.

For complete information, download the Human Rights & Engineering Advising Information.

Interested in learning more about the innovations that have developed from the collaborations between Human Rights and the School of Engineering?

Shareen Hertel and Allison MacKay, “Engineering and Human Rights: Teaching Across the Divide,” Business and Human Rights Journal 1, 1 (January 2016): 159-164.
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/business-and-human-rights-journal/article/engineering-and-human-rights-teaching-across-the-divide/C520379FB12FD8026B57B01C23720ABF

The Social Impact of Engineering
https://today.uconn.edu/2014/12/the-social-impact-of-engineering/

Human Rights Institute and Engineering Team to Offer Human Rights Minor
http://news.engr.uconn.edu/human-rights-institute-and-engineering-team-to-offer-human-rights-minor.php

Securing Water Resources in Ethiopia
https://today.uconn.edu/2015/09/securing-water-resources-in-ethiopia/