1 in 10 people worldwide are suffering from hunger and nearly 1 in 3 people lack regular access to adequate food. Added to that, 2.2billion people around the world are overweight or obese and 2 billion suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. The climate crisis is affecting the weather patterns farmers have relied upon for centuries to grow the crops that form the basis of our food security, and land use is becoming more challenging due to expanding human infrastructure and the need to prevent biodiversity loss.
Engineering plays an integral role in the provision of food all over the world. From the technology involved in designing new crops, improving irrigation and soil quality, to harvesting and processing machinery, and packaging and distribution chains, the engineering involved in getting food from farm to plate has the potential to deliver better quality food, more efficiently, more affordably, more equitably and more sustainably than ever before.
With the global population projected to reach 10 billion by 2050,
How can we sustainably provide affordable, accessible nutritious diets for future populations?
Make sure your design is consistent with the theme of World Engineering Day 2023: Engineering innovation for a more resilient world.
This challenge have been produced by Engineers Without Borders International
This challenge primarily supports the achievement of UN SDG 2
45% of deaths among children under 5 are linked to undernutrition. 149.2 million children under 5 (22% of all children) are stunted (low height for weight) and will suffer lifelong consequences to their physical and cognitive development and health as a result. We must learn how to provide nutritious food more equitably so that no one is left hungry or at risk of life long diet related health impacts. At the same time, most of the world’s population now live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
No country meets recommendations for healthy diets, nor is on track to meet nutrition targets. Diets worldwide are far from being healthy and have not improved over the last decade. Fruit and vegetable intake is still about 50% below the recommended level of five servings per day that is considered healthy. Legume and nut intakes are each more than two thirds below the recommended two servings per day. In contrast, red and processed meat intake is on the rise and almost five times the maximum level of one serving per week, while the consumption of sugary drinks, which are not recommended in any amount, is going up as well.
One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally.
Global food demand has significant environmental impacts: generating more than a third (35%) of all greenhouse emissions, driving nitrogen and phosphorus loading of the environment polluting waterways and causing algal blooms, accounting for 38% of global land surface use, 70% of freshwater withdrawals and 90% of deforestation.
Addressing this issue requires understanding local and global issues. For example, overuse of fertilisers not only drives environmental damage but is expensive, reducing farmers’ incomes; more resilient crops are needed and/or more effective and precise fertiliser application. In many hot, humid climates, lack of fast access to reliable, affordable cold chains means many farmers watch their crops rot before they can get to market. In parts of Asia and South America, fresh groundwater supplies are becoming depleted, so alternative water supplies are needed. Across the African continent there are alleged to be significant untapped shallow depth groundwater resources but current technology is too expensive to unlock this potential.
Submissions are due by January 22nd 2023 (midnight CET)
You and your team will need to:
Create an entry and complete the submission form
Upload your 5-min video submission
This guideline has been designed to support the development of an engineering solution that demonstrates a considered response to one of the engineering challenges and also how one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) are advanced through engineering.
The success of an engineering project depends on much more than just the technical feasibility of the initial concept but also consideration of human factors, environmental context, cost and economic benefits, etc., are very important to the successful implementation of any innovative and ‘technically-sound’ idea.
Below are a series of considerations we recommend you factor into your solution to ensure it is appropriate to the context where it is to be implemented. You might ask yourself these questions a few times throughout the development process – it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers right away! How can you build on your original idea, to improve it each time?
Most effective technical solution for the context
Environmental sustainability outcomes
Engagement of key stakeholders
Are there any ethical considerations – such as adverse impacts to the environment, economy, social inclusion, culture, community, resource use, that warrant consideration?
How has your team utilised digital tools, for example to develop models of your proposed solution as part of the solution. Also how the team has utilised ICT in the process of putting forward your submission.
Cost estimates and economic and non-economic benefits
Based on the International Engineering Alliance Global Graduate Attribute and Professional Competencies Profiles.
Considering the proposal presented to you, evaluate whether the submission demonstrates the following engineering competencies.
Graduate Attributes that are addressed in the solution, referencing the International Engineering Alliance Graduate Attribute and Professional Competency (GAPC) Framework
Maximum Score per Category 4
Score: 0 – Not Addressed
Score: 1 – Limited attempt to address
Score: 2 – Some success in addressing the various elements
Score: 3 – Good attempt to address the element
Score: 4 – Addressed very effectively