Dr. Ozkan Leading a New Engineering Education Initiative

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Desen Ozkan is joining UConn’s School of Engineering (SoE) this fall and has become affiliate faculty of our Engineering for Human Rights Initiative (ENG-HR). Ozkan is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with research on offshore wind engineering, but she has a special focus on engineering education. At UConn, she will develop new programs for the SoE’s Engineering Education and Experiential Learning Initiative.

“By incorporating theoretical foundations and practical applications, the potential program equips graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary for a diverse range of careers,” explained Daniel Burkey, Associate Dean of the School of Engineering, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and ENG-HR affiliate faculty. “Professor Ozkan will help the School of Engineering with designing a curriculum framework that promotes deeper learning, integrates interdisciplinary approaches, and reflects current industry needs while generating new knowledge to advance the understanding of how engineering education can be improved.”

Read the full SoE announcement to learn more at 

Welcome, Professor Ozkan!


HRI Faculty Co-authored Book Chapter on Engineering for Human Rights

We are thrilled to announce that our Human Rights faculty recently published book chapters as part of the volume Teaching Business and Human Rights, edited by Dr. Anthony Ewing. Shareen Hertel, Davis Chacón-Hurtado, and Sandra Sirota have co-authored a chapter “Engineering for Human Rights,” outlining central principles of the field and teaching approaches for fostering diverse professional experiences for students.

Similarly, our colleague Rachel Chambers wrote a chapter “Judicial Remedy” within the same edited volume; her chapter discussed judicial mechanisms in the business and human rights field, especially tort litigation and case law developments across jurisdictions, as well as pedagogical approaches.

Published as part of the Elgar Guides for Teaching, the edited volume as a whole serves as a valuable resource for educators, students, and practitioners seeking to navigate the complex field of business and human rights.

Links to the book Teaching Business and Human Rights:

“Engineering for Human Rights” chapter:

“Judicial Remedy” chapter:

Using Vibrational Therapy to Change the 
Outlook for Cerebral Palsy

In the United States, there are nearly 800,000 children and adults that exhibit one or more symptoms of Cerebral Palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10,000 new-born babies will develop Cerebral Palsy every year. One of the major symptoms for Cerebral Palsy patients is loss of motor function, taking away the ability to walk with ease, and creating difficulty in feeding. There have been several advancements in devices that aid individuals with Cerebral Palsy, but not enough devices that rehabilitate the patient. Four biomedical engineering students are looking to tackle that issue with their innovative Senior Design project.

Katherine Bradley, Morgan DaSilva, Brianna Perry, and Brittany Morgan, the four students involved in the project, are working on a brace, which would go on the hand and arm of a Cerebral Palsy patient, and would use vibration therapy to treat and strengthen the muscles in those parts of the body. The project is being sponsored by the Biomedical Engineering department, and the group is being advised by Professor Krystyna Gielo-Perczak.

Read more @ Engineering News

Human Rights Institute and Engineering to Offer Human Rights Minor

Shareen Hertel leads a human rights course at Oak Hall on April 8, 2013. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The impact of engineering policy and practice on individuals and societies has often been overlooked in engineering education. Yet, engineering technologies and applications – from the extraction and processing of natural resources and manufacture of high-tech electronics to chemical processing and pollution remediation – affect the health, culture, opportunities and well-being of humans in often profound ways.

The University of Connecticut School of Engineering and the Human Rights Institute (HRI) are pleased to announce the expansion of the existing Human Rights minor program at UConn focusing on human rights within the engineering context. The confluence of engineering and human rights education is a natural fit and reflects engineers’ growing awareness that our technological designs, processes, policies and practices transpire within larger ecosystems and contexts. These, in turn, have varying degrees of impact upon the rights and well-being of individuals, families and cultural norms.

New cross-listed courses, including “Assessment for Human Rights & Sustainability” and “Sustainable Energy for the 21st Century” will be offered beginning in the fall 2014 semester and taught jointly by faculty from both disciplines.

Read More @ Engineering News

Class: Human Rights and the Supply Chain

When a white paper was issued earlier this year from a recent UConn conference addressing how to protect human rights and promote social and environmental sustainability in the light manufacturing sector, the document became the most recent addition to resources that help the 200 students pursuing either major or minor studies in human rights.

One of the classes these students can take is an interdisciplinary class, Assessment for Human Rights & Sustainability. Over the past four years, students in the class have examined how companies assess their global supply chains to ensure designs and business practices that promote positive social and economic development, while minimizing the environmental impact on the communities where they make products…

Read More @ UConn Today