WHAT IS TGD?
TGD, formerly known as TvO stands for Technology for Global Development. It is a University-wide forum supported by the TU/e Board of Directors to promote awareness in the TU/e community about how its students and staff can contribute effectively to the design and implementation of innovative technological solutions for major global problems, with a special focus on the developing countries.
Many of us are concerned with the global problems of today, such as climate change, armed conflicts and terrorism, scarcity of energy, water and food, lack of education, poverty and social exclusion, and deadly diseases and inadequate health systems. In developed countries these issues receive much attention, including the important role that scientists and engineers can play in addressing such problems through smart technological innovations using the latest advances in technological knowledge.
However, in developing countries, forming the largest part of the world, there is a dire lack of local technological capacity and resources to develop locally appropriate solutions to these problems. In these cases, combining local knowledge and technologies with western knowledge and resources can be very fruitful. Western inputs can range from relatively simple, low-tech solutions to high-tech innovations developed by scientists and engineers who operate at the global technological frontier. Varied as these inputs may be, what they all share is the requirement of effective support based on knowledge of local circumstances and needs, and close cooperation between local and foreign stakeholders.
HOW DOES TGD WORK?
Being a university of technology, we stimulate students and staff to participate in activities that are especially targeted towards engineers and scientists. TGD believes that it is our ethical obligation, as a community of technical specialists, to help find modern and innovative technical solutions for global problems that contribute to social justice and sustainability, especially for the benefit of under-privileged in developing countries, while using sound principles of academic research.
The role of TGD is stimulation of awareness and critical discussions, and pointing people to interesting study projects, courses, lectures, collaborations etc.
Each year TGD organizes a range of interesting activities:
- Liaisons between staff and students who are involved in development related activities and projects for exchange of experiences and expertise.
- Lectures together with Studium Generale about the latest innovative trends and insights in specific fields relevant to international development, by specialists from the field: biofuels, solar cells, mass shelter construction, hydro - and waste water treatment, project management in difficult environments, etc.
- Movies (with discussions with the makers or a panel) on these topics, in the 'Zwarte Doos'.
- Participation in specific inter-university activities such as ICT for developing countries, I4D, World Energy Day, Oikos workshops, etc.
- Support and stimulation of development-related student projects & activities in developing countries (facilitation of internships abroad, international programmes, study tours, student/department symposia and fora, etc.).
Given the present debates about the Millennium Development Goals, we feel that these activities are more relevant than ever.
The Committee also supports development related educational activities, such as a Certificate Programme in Industrial Engineering & Innovation Science.