UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Virtual expertise: crowdsourcing engineering solutions

Sustainability 13

Bethany Gordon (from Sustainability Team 13) explores how digital technology could offer new ways to mobilise engineering expertise to solve global challenges.

Listen to the podcast

The team say...

"According to the National Science Foundation, there are 6.3 million scientists and engineers in the United States alone and only 11% work in non-profit or public interest jobs. More than half (over 3 million) work in for-profit companies. What if we could quickly immerse a portion of those 3.2 million STEM professionals in a location with an engineering humanitarian problem? Enhanced virtual reality has the potential to make this hypothetical situation possible. Just imagine how many people we’d be able to help if professional engineers could crowdsource solutions to real problems affecting our poorest global communities."

Source: (https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2016/nsb20161/#/report/chapter-3/u-s-s-e-workforce-definition-size-and-growth)

Meet the team

Bethany Gordon

Bethany is a PhD student in Civil Engineering at the University of Virginia. Her research interests include sustainable infrastructure design in low income and resource-restricted communities, public perceptions of sustainability, applied virtual reality, cognitive science, sustainable humanitarian efforts in engineering, psychology, and linguistics. For the past two years, she has been a member of the Tuff Armenia team: an interdisciplinary student group collaborating to find a sustainable set of solutions to the Gyumri housing crisis.