Accepted paper:

The Engineering Exchange: widening access to engineering expertise in London


Sarah Bell (University College London)
Charlotte Barrow (UCL)
Vera Bukachi

Paper short abstract:

The Engineering Exchange (EngEx) supports two way engagement between engineering researchers and local communities in London, UK. This paper reflects upon the first two years of the EngEx and the impact on community group partners, participating engineers and urban planning and decision making.

Paper long abstract:

The Engineering Exchange (EngEx) at University College London was established in 2014 to support engagement between engineering researchers and local communities. Building on the 'science shop' tradition within STS, the purpose of the EngEx is to provide community groups with access to engineering expertise and to ensure community needs are reflected in research projects and priorities. The EngEx runs training courses for engineers and researchers, facilitates events to generate collaborative research projects, and responds to ad hoc enquiries from community groups. Projects have addressed a wide range of issues including the demolition and refurbishment of social housing, reintroducing freight transport on London's canals, a community design charette, community infrastructure planning, improving delivery logistics to reduce air pollution, and preservation of an historic steam ship. This paper will present the outcomes of the evaluation of training and research programmes for engineers and community partners, and on the wider university.

panel T081
Science and Technology for Social Justice