University is a formative stage in becoming an engineer. What we teach people today and how we do it will shape attitudes for a lifetime. Future engineers have the potential to use their unique problem solving capability to play a crucial role in stewarding humanity’s future.

Engineering has traditionally been the “problem-solving” profession and a driver of innovation. Just as the planet and society faces navigating away from an unsustainable trajectory, the engineering profession faces it’s own inflexion point. Today’s challenges require so much more than optimising the approaches of the past. A traditional focus on technical skills and knowledge is insufficient; we know we need engineers to work across disciplines, adopting holistic approaches, and understand the ecological and social consequences of their professional choices.

We’ve teamed up with the Royal Academy of Engineering to deliver a Systems Change Lab, exploring how best to transform UK engineering degree programmes to ensure graduates leave university with the knowledge, skills and mindsets required to be globally responsible.

Get involved

Stay up to date with the Systems Change Lab by registering for email communications below.

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What is the Systems Change Lab?

The Lab is a collection of 200+ change makers from over 25 universities and 22 companies who are working to shape engineering degree courses. This includes deans, heads of department, educators, accreditors, industry players and current engineering students.

Over a series of free virtual and in-person workshops, running from September 2023 – March 2024, the Lab will provide a critical space for constructive conversations and shaping purpose-driven collaboration to improve and embed global responsibility within engineering degree courses. 

Get a taste of the Lab by exploring the write-up of the in-person events in September and December, and insights from the virtual workshops.

‘As educators we have a huge responsibility to equip our graduates with the knowledge and skill sets that enable them to shape a sustainable world through practices that are both ethical and inclusive. It was clear to me from attending the launch event that ‘The Systems Change Lab’ is a fantastic initiative that will help universities deliver on these important globally significant aspects of an engineering education.’
Mark Gillott, Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Student Experience & Chair in Sustainable Building Design, University of Nottingham

Discover the Lab

Find updates and explore resources shared by the Lab over on CrowdSolve.

How can I contribute?

Whether you’re a dean, head of department, educator, accreditor, industry player or current engineering student, we welcome you to join this important conversation.

Your participation will help to:

  • Inform the Royal Academy of Engineering’s wider sustainability in engineering higher education work, in particularly to understand engineering academics views and possible solutions to the key barriers to change.
  • Shape and refine the support [resources] offered by the Royal Academy of Engineering, Engineers Without Borders UK and Engineers Professors Council.

To join, just register for the upcoming workshops. You can also find updates and explore resources shared by the Lab over on CrowdSolve.


By getting involved with the Systems Change Lab, you:

  • Have a unique opportunity to shape cross-university initiatives, and contribute to preparing future generations of engineers
  • Gather ideas and connections on how best to make positive changes within your university
  • Be part of a community of change makers who believe in the potential of engineering as an instrument of positive change in the world. Explore the potential for greater collaboration with a wider and diverse set of players (the lab will involve students, educators, deans, companies and accreditors).

We’re delighted to be delivering this important work in partnership with

The story so far...

Launching the Lab

On Friday 15 September, 50+ change makers from 20 universities came together to explore how to embed global responsibility in engineering degrees, as part of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Engineers Without Borders UK’s first Systems Change Lab.

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Catalysing change in engineering curricula: Insights from the Systems Change Lab

Earlier this month, change makers participating in the Systems Change Lab, co-delivered with the Royal Academy of Engineering, shared their insights on navigating the complex landscape of educational reform in the UK.

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Engineering education for the 21st Century: Insights from the Lab

Transforming the future of engineering education requires imagination. Over the last two months, change makers participating in our ongoing Systems Change Lab, co-delivered with the Royal Academy of Engineering, have been crafting a collective vision for an engineering curriculum that truly integrates global responsibility.

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Engineers Without Borders UK is running a Systems Change Lab on behalf of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s wider project, Engineer 2030.  Engineer 2030 aims to determine the foundational knowledge, skills and behaviours needed by engineers and technicians to meet 21st century global challenges and to understand the systems, cultures, and policies currently in place in the UK to deliver this.