Umicore has supported IngénieuxSud for a few years now. Students of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) work with students from Africa, South America or Asia for a whole academic year on a sustainable project that offers a solution to meet the needs of the local population.
At the end of the academic year the UCL students go abroad for a month to roll out their project on site. We chatted to professor Jean-Pierre Raskin, who is the driving force behind IngénieuxSud.
“IngénieuxSud is a collaboration between The Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) and the non-governmental organization (NGO) Louvain Coopération”, Prof. Raskin starts off the conversation. “We want to open the minds of our students in the science and technical fields to think out of the box. The aim is that they take into account aspects such as sustainable development and social equality when dealing with technology projects in developing countries in Africa, for example.”
The students are no longer exclusively graded on the technical solutions they come up with, but also on their interplay with sociologists, NGOs, companies, etc. they worked with or exchanged ideas with. “The sustainability of the project and the manner in which it truly responds to the needs of the local population is evaluated,” says Raskin.