Issues from two different sources:

  • Issues identified in the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) ‘Engineering for People Design Challenge’. In 2019, this is based in Tamil Nadu, one of the 29 states of India, and located in the south east of India.
  • Issues identified by Dr John Quinn and Dr Mike Smith, academics from the University of Makerere in Uganda. These are low tech issues which potentially have a high tech solution. Although first identified in Cameroon, they are issues common to Tamil Nadu and they complement those suggested by EWB. They are indicated below by a yellow coloured background. If you choose one of these issues then you won’t see them mentioned on the EWB website, but they are still issues facing Tamil Nadu, and the materials/data on the EWB website will be essential in helping you understand the context.



Design Area 1: Water

  1. Water availability
  2. Water management
  3. Water quality
  4. Water demand for agriculture
  5. Water and public health

Design Area 2: Sanitation

  1. Open defecation
  2. Dealing with human waste
  3. Dealing with waste from sanitary products
  4. Farmers use of human waste

Design Area 3: Waste

  1. Plastic waste
  2. Solid waste into energy
  3. Mitigate for burning of solid waste
  4. Systems to deal with solid waste

Design Area 4: Energy

  1. Appropriate electrical appliances
  2. Alternative fuel or more efficient use of existing fuel
  3. Human waste use for benefit of the community

Design Area 5: Digital

  1. Control of irrigation pumps
  2. Technical solutions for reducing female harassment
  3. Apps for integrating transport and payment
  4. Improve internet connectivity
  5. Software for money management
  6. Deterring poaching
  7. Automated mosquito surveillance and disease prediction service
  8. Smart greenhouses

Design Area 6: Transport

  1. Improve road safety
  2. Improve traffic management or air pollution
  3. Improve driver behaviour

Design Area 7: Built environment

  1. Katcha materials for aspirational buildings
  2. Pucca building design
  3. Public spaces


Projects with a yellow background were suggested by academics from the University of Makerere.