Engineering for Peace

October 22, 2019

Engineering and peace, though seemingly unrelated concepts, were seamlessly fused together by Dr. Camille George, Associate Dean of engineering at St. Thomas. Dr. George shared that during her time as an engineering student, she felt that there was always a part of the curriculum that was missing, and that part was a holistic approach to the creation process.

In 2003, Dr. George began international engineering projects to serve those at the base of the economic pyramid, but realized “There are more skills besides engineering needed to successfully serve a community.” She and her students recognized that there was a lack of cultural learning and peace studies in their education, even though those are necessary skills to engineer ethically.

Today, Dr. Camille George has spearheaded the creation of the peace engineering minor at St. Thomas, the only minor in this area of study in the world. Recently returned from The Hague, Netherlands, Dr. George was invited to meet with the Global Society of Peace Engineers, and strategically plan the future of peace engineering on a global scale.

“I believe that we need to be responsible for what we create and that it is unethical to teach otherwise. What are you building, for whom, and why? These are the questions we need to be critically asking. We need to teach about ethics and taking responsibility for the unintended consequences for what we’ve created.” Dr. George explained. Thanks to Dr. George, the University of St. Thomas now has a pathway for students to fully embrace what it means to create a more peaceful world, locally and globally.