Engineering & Design for Sustainable Environments (Online | Abroad)

Explore human-centered design and technologies for renewable energy, sustainable farming and water use in arid climates.

At a Glance


3 (+3)


None, but online component is required to enroll in the J-Term.

Courses taught in



Jul 13 ‎– Jul 31

Online Term

Jul 13 ‎– Jul 31

In-Country J-Term (optional)

Dec 28 ‎– Jan 15

Program Base

Online, Jordan

Critical Global Issue of Study

Climate & Environment

Climate & Environment Icon

Development & Inequality

Development & Inequality Icon


This course offers three weeks of online study and three weeks abroad. The online course is open to all applicants; the in-person J-term is open to college undergraduates who have completed the online term.

Jordan is one of the driest countries on the planet and declining rainfall is negatively affecting economic development. In the capital, Amman, learn about technologies for sustainable water use and treated wastewater reuse, renewable energy, and organic farming. Explore human-centered design by developing a project that addresses the needs of a Jordanian community. Visit the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and water treatment plants to learn about local and regional issues of arid countries and how scarcity plays a role in the larger dynamics of the Middle East. You’ll be exposed to different perspectives on resource management during the homestay in Amman and field visits with Bedouin families in the desert.


  • Learn about the issues of arid countries and their local and regional dynamics. 
  • Explore technologies for sustainable water use and treated wastewater reuse. 
  • Assess the needs of a local community or business to identify an engineering problem. 
  • Site visits to Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, water treatment plants and Bedouin communities. 


None, but online component (Design Project ENGR 3030 – 3 credits) is required to enroll In the J-Term (Design & Innovation in the Social Domain ENGR 3003 – 3 credits).

Program Terms

Online Term Details

Attend online learning and discussion sessions in the Design Project course on environment and sustainability issues such as: natural resources, agriculture, water, refugees and humanitarian action. Get an interdisciplinary introduction to human-centered design methods and ethics in the context of Jordan. Virtually interview community members; identify an existing problem in water and renewable energy, food design, or sustainable organic farming in arid environments; and engineer a concept that can be developed into a design project.

In-Country (J-Term) Details

In Jordan, through the Design and Innovation in the Social Domain course, meet with local engineers, community groups, businesses, and policy-makers about emerging resiliency practices and ideas for water shortage and supply, renewable energy, and food security. Under the direction of a local faculty advisor, student design teams develop engineering solutions to practical, open-ended projects. Ethical, social, economic, and safety issues in engineering practice will be considered. Visit water treatments plants, the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, ancient water harvesting systems in Petra, and desert ecosystems in Wadi Rum.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.



The Design Project course will be provided online during summer 2020, the Design and Innovation in the Social Domain course will take place in Jordan during January 2021.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Program Components

  • Human-centered design in the Jordanian context 
  • Water supply technology and practice in arid climates
  • An engineering project that addresses a local need 
  • Excursions to the Dead Sea, Petra, and Wadi Rum  

Design Project

Design and Innovation in the Social Domain



The homestay in Amman is a unique opportunity to become a member of a local family, share meals with them, and take part in special occasions. Jordan is known for its hospitality. For three weeks, you’ll be immersed in Arabic culture and will gain an understanding of your host family’s perspectives and values — all while practicing your Arabic language skills.

Most homestay families are middle-class and maintain the customs of a typical Arab home. Some homestay families are first- or second-generation Palestinians who are an integral part of the country’s social and cultural fabric. You may get to experience a wedding other traditional cultural activity, in addition to family outings.

Faculty & Staff

Jordan: Engineering & Design for Sustainable Environments (Online | Abroad)

Raed Al-Tabini, PhD
Majd Abusalem, PhD Candidate

Discover the Possibilities


    The total cost for this program is $960, while the optional in-country term is $3,356, including tuition, room & board, health insurance, and more. Financial aid may apply. Contact your study abroad office or SIT Admissions for more information.