Kurt Paterson

Kurt Paterson currently serves as Director of Michigan Tech’s D80 Center (www.d80.mtu.edu), a consortium of twenty research, education, and service programs dedicated to creating appropriate solutions with the poorest 80% of humanity. His research, teaching and service interests focus on appropriate technology for public health, international project-based service learning, and engineering education reform. Paterson teaches courses on creativity, engineering artistry, and community-inspired entrepreneurship. He has served the American Society for Engineering Education in numerous capacities, as a member of the International Strategic Planning Task Force, the International Advisory Committee, and Global Task Force, and as Chair of the International Division. He actively serves Engineers Without Borders-USA, as a chapter co-advisor, education committee chair, and lead on EWB’s efforts to examine its educational impacts. He is currently PI on several NSF-funded projects involving the design and assessment of project-based service learning. He is co-author of two books released in late 2009: "Engineering in Developing Communities: Water, Sanitation, and Indoor Air," and "Environmental Engineering: Fundamentals, Sustainability, and Design."


Kurt Paterson has applied for and been awarded 1 grant

  • Eco-Innovating a Better World

    Began May, 2008 and ended May, 2011

    At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, world leaders established the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight MDGs represent commitments to reduce poverty and hunger, and to tackle ill health, gender and educational inequality, lack of access to clean water, and environmental degradation. Michigan Tech has created an international education strategy over the past decade with six distinct programs. These programs have recently formed the D80 Center, dedicated to alleviating suffering and inequity through development for the world’s poorest 80%. To date, more than 350 students have participated in one or more of these programs, working on more than 400 projects in 25 developing countries. As the radius of influence of these programs expands, the potential for innovation across disciplines and across cultures grows. This proposal seeks to increase multidisciplinary collaboration and innovation by: • Strengthening the newly created International Sustainable Development Engineering Certificate through an infusion of entrepreneurship theory and practice. This will be accomplished by hosting speakers and workshops to promote integration of appropriate design, community-inspired innovation, and social entrepreneurship; • Creating the D80 Studio for conceptualization, prototyping, and testing of appropriate design and technologies, thereby creating a unique concept-to-marketplace experience for students. • Scaling-up our successes by: developing advising materials for integrating Certificate programs into campus-wide curricula; developing Master’s International Peace Corps Graduate Programs and Certificates in International Sustainable Development in Business and Mechanical Engineering; and forming partnerships among industry, developing communities, non-governmental organizations, faculty and students to address the MDGs in novel ways.

    With the team:

    • Ms. Lynn Artman Administrator of Foundation Relations, Research and Sponsored Programs, Michigan Technological University
    • Kurt Paterson
    • Dr. Timothy Schulz Dean, College of Engineering, Michigan Technological University
    • Dr. Neil Hutzler Chair, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University