Integrating ‘Engineering Projects in Community Service’ into engineering curricula to develop graduate attributes

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Mohamed Sameer Hoosain Saurabh Sinha


There has been a shift towards the acceptance of community engagement and service-learning as a pedagogical tool in the fields of engineering, engineering technology and the built environment. The Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) was implemented at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment and this article shares the best practices and lessons learned as the program developed. As EPICS-in-IEEE requires, the partners included UJ students and faculty members, a non-governmental organization (NGO), Engineers without Borders-UJ, and secondary school learners (the pre-university component) from UJ Metropolitan Academy. The EPICS-in-IEEE technical design and development phase was constituted and used as a guideline. The results of this project demonstrated at least six positive implications: university final-year/capstone engineering design projects and exit-level outcomes were achieved; participants worked as a team on engineering-related projects for a local NGO and its community; the project prepared engineering graduates for the professional world; the initiative took the engineering, engineering technology and built environment disciplines to the community through the “social innovation” EPICS-in-IEEE concept; and the UJ value system was instilled while achieving technical/professional outcomes in preparing students for careers in the private, public and non-profit sectors.

How to cite this article:

HOOSAIN, Mohamed Sameer; SINHA, Saurabh. Integrating ‘Engineering Projects in Community Service’ into engineering curricula to develop graduate attributes. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South, v. 2, n. 1, p. 60-75, Apr. 2018. Available at: