Cristian Birzer

Dr Cris Birzer MIEAust CPEng is a Chartered Professional Mechanical Engineer and Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Energy Engineering at the School of Mechanical Engineering and also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Humanitarian Engineering. Cris is currently the Director of the Humanitarian and Development Solutions Initiative (HDSI), and Deputy Head of School for the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide. He is a former consultant engineer and also member of the Australian Defence Force, having worked in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. Cris also deployed to Nepal with the World Food Programme to assist with the 2015 Earthquakes emergency response.

Cristian Birzer

Service Learning or Voluntourism?

February 6, 2018

One of the biggest threats we face as engineers working in global development is not lack of funding, and...

12
Cristian Birzer

We need to be efficient: Constructive criticism from the Humanitarian Technology conference

July 11, 2016

Some three weeks have passed since the Humanitarian Technology conference was held in Boston this year, and back on the...

1

Latest Comments

  • I think Lawrence and Mitra have valid points to the argument. Scale, capacity building, how we measure poverty, all need to be considered. Like the solutions developed, they can't be in isolation, otherwise, there is too much risk of failure.

    Engineers Are Not Ending Poverty. Time for a Change?
    cbirzer
  • Hi Praveensagar311! Going to a place to monitor and observe helps ensure opportunities are suitably identified and solution implementation is achieved appropriately. Going somewhere and learning how communities operate, even trying to do the same work to "walk in their footstep" is a great way of em...

    Service Learning or Voluntourism?
    cbirzer
  • Completely agree with you Rob!

    Service Learning or Voluntourism?
    Cristian Birzer
  • Hi Tommy, Tourism is a really important way of improving the quality of life of those in developing communities. Similarly, volunteering using difficult-to-transfer skills also has a big impact in raising quality of life. However, voluntourism is not a positive hybrid of the two. For example, someon...

    Service Learning or Voluntourism?
    Cristian Birzer
  • Hi Muhamed, Thanks for the feedback, especially from someone who has seen the issues first-hand.

    Service Learning or Voluntourism?
    Cristian Birzer
  • Thanks David. I think it is a balance between feeling good and doing good.

    Service Learning or Voluntourism?
    Cristian Birzer

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