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Electrocomponents backs Engineering for People Design Challenge

26 February 2021 News

Electrocomponents, of which RS Components is a trading brand, has signed a one-year partnership agreement with Engineers Without Borders International, the leading movement that puts global responsibility at the heart of engineering in every part of the world.

For the duration of the partnership, Electrocomponents will provide financial and hands-on support to Engineers Without Borders South Africa and Engineers Without Borders UK for the annual Engineering for People Design Challenge, as well as for the Inspiring and Building Community Leaders programmes. The competition, now in its tenth year, is a collaboration in 2020/21 between three of the sixty Engineers Without Borders organisations: UK, South Africa and USA.

The objective underpinning this unique challenge is to encourage university students to broaden their awareness of the social, environmental and economic implications of their engineering solutions. The initiative embeds a globally responsible awareness during a pivotal moment in the students’ careers and provides an opportunity for them to develop solutions that could make a positive difference to communities and individuals around the world.

Location of the Engineering for People Design Challenge.

More than 7000 first- and second-year university engineering students spanning three continents are competing this year to find practicable ways to improve the livelihoods of people in the neighbouring communities of Lobitos and Piedritas on the northern coast of Peru. Though popular as a surfing destination, the two towns still experience significant challenges with sustainable waste management, energy, food and water supply, digital communications and transport infrastructure. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the difficulties in accessing the economic benefit that the growing tourism industry offers through employment, investment and direct tourist spending.

As well as providing essential funding to the Engineering for People Design Challenge, Electrocomponents is very much involved at a practical level, offering critical skills training to students to boost confidence in areas such as presentation skills, for example. The first of these sessions took place during the Student Designathon on 17 February 2021.

Electrocomponents will also sit on the judging panel at the Engineering for People Design Challenge Grand Finals, where the best teams from the participating universities, previously selected by academics from each institution, will showcase their solutions in a bid to win the grand prize of an educational bursary. The runner-up and People’s Prize winners will receive a shared bursary.

Electrocomponents’ collaboration with Engineers Without Borders organisations is part of a wider commitment by the group to ensure that the company delivers and promotes the highest levels of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards affecting people and the planet. It is also another example of Electrocomponents’ enduring educational support for the new generation of engineers who will shape our future world. Through this partnership, Electrocomponents has pledged to extend its support to other Engineers Without Borders organisations, with activity planned for later this year in the USA and Australia.

Lindsley Ruth, CEO of Electrocomponents, said: “Our ESG aspiration at Electrocomponents is to make amazing things happen by inspiring a more sustainable world through education and innovative solutions that improve lives. The themes that run through our plan align perfectly with what Engineers Without Borders stands for and we’re delighted to enter into this partnership with them. We believe that through our support and participation in the Engineering for People Design Challenge globally, alongside other key programmes, we can nurture the next generation of globally responsible engineering leaders together.”

"Electrocomponents has a long history of nurturing engineering talent so we couldn't be more pleased to have them as partners on the Engineering for People Design Challenge. The extensive educational initiatives run by Electrocomponents are a reflection of their dedication to supporting and inspiring the next generation of engineers and an indication of our shared mission to engineer a better future for our planet and all the people who inhabit it," said Jenny Munday, head of engagement, Engineers Without Borders UK.

For more information about the Engineering for People Design Challenge, and Electrocomponents’ involvement with Engineers Without Borders UK, visit www.ewb-uk.org/movement/partnerships/corporate-partners/. For updates on the South African leg of this partnership, contact Wesley Hood on wesley.hood@rs-components.com.


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