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College of Engineering

Smart and Connected Communities: Khalid Kadir UC Berkeley
WhenMonday, Dec 10, 2018, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Campus locationPaul G. Allen Center For Computer Science & Engineering (CSE)
Campus room125
Event typesInformation Sessions, Workshops
Event sponsorsUrban@UW

Whose Communities?
Recentering engineering and engineers, and moving from social good to social justice
While engineers, both academics and practitioners, are remarkably good at solving problems, engineering approaches to problem solving remove issues from their historical, social, and political context and frame them in technical terms. As a result, engineers are ill-equipped to deal with problems related to social injustice, and are in fact positioned to unwittingly reproduce or exacerbate already existing injustices. Practicing engineering differently entails more than adopting an ‘engineering for good’ approach, and instead necessitates recentering our work around socio-political questions. This presents us with methodological challenges, and requires us to question our epistemological assumptions. Perhaps more significantly, questioning our epistemological assumptions presents us with personal challenges, as it forces us to more seriously engage with questions of power, positionality, and ethics. Taking such engagement seriously, however, opens the possibility of becoming civically minded, justice-oriented practitioners who are equipped to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing human society today.

Khalid is a Continuing Lecturer at UC Berkeley, teaching courses in the Global Poverty & Practice (GPP) program, Political Economy, and the College of Engineering. He received his PhD in 2010 from Berkeley in Civil and Environmental Engineering, where his research focused on pathogen removal in natural water and wastewater treatment systems. He is a recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award, UC Berkeley’s most prestigious honor for teaching. In addition to his technical work as an engineer, Khalid studies the complex role that engineering expertise plays in the politics of international development and poverty alleviation.

Printed: Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 10:24 PM PST