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Laura Myers travelled to India in January as part of the Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering

UC announces first graduates in global humanitarian engineering

New Zealand’s first global humanitarian engineering graduates have received their diplomas from the University of Canterbury (UC).


Helping solve the world’s big issues, such as food and water shortages, power supply, climate change, and ageing populations, is part of the engineering experience that Laura Myers, 22, from Auckland, and Quinn Hornblow, 24, from Upper Moutere, Nelson, gained while completing their Bachelor of Engineering studies.

Quinn Hornblow hopes his future career will create a positive change in New Zealand’s interactions with global environmental issues

Laura Myers became the first person to receive a Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering (DipGlobalHumanEng) from UC. She specialised in mechanical engineering, graduating last year with a Bachelor of Engineering with first class honours.

“I am immensely proud to complete such an accreditation that has empowered me to become an engineer focused on the needs of people,” Laura says of the DipGlobalHumanEng.

Laura travelled to India as part of the diploma in January this year. “It was exciting to observe innovative engineering solutions that existed within the small village I visited. The trip was fascinating, especially after taking a UC paper in the history of India as part of my diploma,” she says.

Eye-opening experience

Quinn Hornblow received his BE(Hons) degree with second class honours (division one) in natural resources engineering, as well as his DipGlobalHumanEng. While studying natural resources engineering, Quinn took on the diploma which allowed him to shape his studies around international human welfare efforts. Quinn was able to put his skills into action with a study trip to Nepal during his second year.

“We joined a group of Australian students for a series of in-country workshops and language lessons, then got the chance to travel to some pretty remote villages to learn about their way of life,” he says. “It was such an eye-opening experience to see first-hand how foreign aid influences these places. It has given me an appreciation of the importance of community consultation, not just overseas but on local projects here in New Zealand too.”

Quinn hopes that his future career will create a positive change in New Zealand’s interactions with global environmental issues.

A unique degree

Combining engineering and arts subjects, UC’s unique Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering can be completed in parallel with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree, and is the only one of its type in Australasia.

UC has a well-established reputation for getting involved with humanitarian activities through groups such as the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) and Engineers Without Borders New Zealand (EWBNZ). Students from UC have worked on humanitarian projects providing much-needed facilities in Tonga, the Philippines and elsewhere.

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