Is altruistic engineering really that common?

<p>I want to become and engineer to help people, and not simply for the salary. There are so many things engineers can do to help people, from managing water resources to green energy to sanitation to slum reversal. But is it really feasible for me to be considering the engineering field to do things like this? I just don't want to get stuck with a desk job doing things no one cares about. </p>

<p>Let me know, and Thanks!</p>

<p>If somebody is paying your their own money to do it, then it must be something somebody cares about. Econ 101, you have a job because you are satisfying some demand that exists.</p>

<p>Biomedical engineering? Dean</a> Kamen on inventing and giving | Video on TED.com</p>

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<p>Yes, there are engineering jobs in water resources, green energy, and sanitation. Slum reversal would take a lot more than engineering though (social studies, public policy, economics, etc.).</p>

<p>Make a lot of money and then donate it to charity.</p>

<p>Sounds a lot like Environmental Engineering:</p>

<p>From Wikipedia
"Environmental engineering is the application of science and engineering principles to improve the natural environment (air, water, and/or land resources), to provide healthy water, air, and land for human habitation (house or home) and for other organisms, and to remediate polluted sites."</p>

<p>As for slum reversal, that's not really an engineering thing unless you can turn dirt into gold or something like that.</p>

<p>Check out Engineers without Borders or model yourself after Norman Borlaug ("The Man Who Fed The World") or one of the hero scientists mentioned in books like Paul de Kruif's The Microbe Hunters or The Hunger Fighters.</p>

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"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
George Washington Carver</p>

<p>"To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort, and hope....The engineer performs many public functions from which he gets only philosophical satisfactions. Most people do not know it, but he is an economic and social force." HCH
Engineering</a> as a Profession | Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association</p>