Servant Engineering Course

Engineering together to serve others.

George Fox’s servant engineering program gives engineering students an opportunity to work together to develop technical solutions primarily focused on serving others. These engineering projects ultimately address humanitarian needs.

Why servant engineering?

Space Balloon Team

Servant engineering serves as a “junior design” experience, preparing students for their capstone senior design course – but the program serves a greater purpose. A myriad of service agencies and individuals increasingly require the help of people with strong technical backgrounds – engineers who can develop the technology that allows them to succeed. The servant engineering program introduces our students to these needs, inviting students to become part of the solution.

Servant engineering was designed with the hope that students would be inspired to start on a life of service through engineering, finding ways to utilize their special talents outside of their normal vocational opportunities.

Program format

Servant engineering is a two-semester course sequence typically taken in the student’s junior year. In the summer before the course begins, students research a potential engineering project designed to serve others. These projects are proposed early in the first semester, and the most feasible projects are selected for the program. Students are then assigned to a four- or five-person team that works on a selected project. Projects might require a multi-disciplinary team ranging from computer science to civil engineering, or they might be more focused on a specific skill-set.

Each team has a faculty mentor who helps guide the project. Teams meet with their faculty mentors weekly to give status reports and receive guidance on the project. Teams will begin the year working out the problem definition, then progress to specification development, concept exploration and selection, and detailed design and build. Ultimately each team aims to develop a prototype solution or design report.

Read more about the beginnings of Servant Engineering in the George Fox Journal Fall 2008.