Professor and Director of Humanitarian Engineering (HE) Undergraduate Programs at the Engineering, Design & Society of the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
Juan obtained a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech and two BS in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His books include Defending the Nation: U.S. Policymaking to Create Scientists and Engineers from Sputnik to the ’War Against Terrorism’ (University Press of America, 2005), Engineering and Sustainable Community Development (with Jen Schneider and Jon Leydens, Morgan & Claypool, 2010), Engineering Education for Social Justice: Critical Explorations and Opportunities (Springer, 2013), and Engineering Justice: Transforming Engineering Education and Practice (with Jon Leydens, IEEE-Wiley, 2017).
Born and raised in Colombia, he learned to value, interact and learn from people from the poorest sectors of Colombian society. As an engineering student, he learned the strengths and limitations of engineering assumptions and methods for engaging communities, particularly those historically neglected by engineering. Later working under the mentorship of cultural anthropologist Gary Downey, he learned that engineers and engineering have culture that can be studied and transformed for the wellbeing of communities, social justice, and sustainability. The main driver for his teaching and research is to challenge students to ask, what is engineering for?