Smart and Connected Communities lecture
Smart and Connected Communities lecture
WhenMonday, Dec 10, 2018, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Campus locationElectrical and Computer Engineering Building (ECE)
Campus roomElectrical & Computer Engineering Building 125
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsUrban@UW

Whose Communities?
Recentering engineering and engineers, and moving from social good to social justice

Khalid Kadir, UC Berkeley

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 Kadir studies the complex role that engineering expertise plays in the politics of international development and poverty alleviation. He 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.…
Printed: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 9:05 AM PDT