Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Hacking for the Homeless

PostedFebruary 11, 2018

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LEDE: Teams of students recently came together for a hackathon at Catholic University to engineer solutions for homeless in the DC area, and beyond.

Randy Atkins: Engineering and the problem of homelessness may not seem connected at first.  But John Judge, Dean of Engineering at Catholic University, says infrastructure plays a large part in the solution.

John Judge: The Grand Challenge of restoring urban infrastructure, to me, that’s more than fixing bridges that are crumbling…or engineering new ways to do transportation...it’s engineering new ways for life to go on in cities and that means dealing with urban problems like homelessness

Randy Atkins: Amelia Vignola, a mechanical engineering student at Catholic University, is working on a mobile app that can alert authorities about homeless people in distress and is excited that so many others are participating in the hackathon too.

Amelia Vignola: I think it really just shows that, like, If you have a problem and enough people thinking about it, you’re gonna find a solution.

Randy Atkins: A group of students from this competition will be selected to participate in the Vatican’s first ever hackathon on helping refugees.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.