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The International Senior Design Objective

Senior Design ProgramThe class is designed to emulate work of a design/build firm in industry while providing a meaningful class experience that combines field construction with an engineering design project to benefit people of the developing world.

The experience provides students a platform to consider economic and health factors, social and societal impact, application of appropriate technology, constructability and sustainability, safety, reliability, aesthetics, ethics, and environmental limitations of the developing world while applying engineering skills to a design that results in a more sustainable Earth.


Senior Design ProgramSince inception in 2000, fifteen (15) international senior design classes have been successfully completed by 167 Michigan Tech students. Design and construction projects include community flood control, fundamental water supply and treatment, improving sanitary conditions, school classrooms and school site master planning.
This life-changing experience has raised global awareness of Michigan Tech students and their international partners and will pay dividends throughout their professional and personal lives. School projects designed and constructed to date already enhance educational and social opportunities for the children. Local health and humanitarian benefits have been realized through improved local sanitary conditions and provision of reliable water systems.
The program includes development of Michigan Tech alumni-student mentor relationships by allowing practicing engineering alumni to participate in this unique experience. An expected benefit is the opportunity to provide professional and technological transfer to other generations while improving the world community.


Past iDesign and ISD Projects are all here in the Projects Archive



"Your programs are great! I no longer look at a resume unless they have a significant internship or an international experience such as yours."

-Cathy Leslie, P.E.,
1983 CEE Graduate,
Senior Engineering Manager, Tetra Tech RMC and Executive Director,
Engineers Without Borders USA


"… through hard work I have earned the confidence I need to take on whatever challenges life (engineering or not) may present. I have no doubt that this experience will stay with me for my lifetime …. These classes are those that I most highly recommend to prospective students and those that are viewed most respectfully when I speak to future employers."

Chase Nelson
2007 CEE Graduate


"Thank you for taking the senior design classes to Bolivia. I had hoped that my son would have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. My impression is that it was all of that and more. When he called from Miami, he said that he was ready to get on the plane and go back and that it was the best money ever spent on his education. That was impressive."

Last Modified on : January 11, 2015

Michigan Technological University
College of Engineering
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan, 49931 - 1295, USA
Department Phone: 1-906-487-2520
Department Fax: 1-906-487-2943
Department E-mail:  

Michigan Technological University
is an equal opportunity educational institution / equal opportunity employer

For more info contact:

David Watkins
806 Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building
(906) 487-1640