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Welcome to the website of the Research Group on “Engineering Sciences and Global Development” (EScGD).

Aim & background

We work for contributing to the promotion of Research for Development through practice and research in Engineering, with special emphasis on the situation of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities.

We focus on the generation and transfer of knowledge through active participation. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are our tools: engineering sciences provide the basis for transforming ideas into realities that contribute to engineering more inclusive and sustainable societies.

The initiative started formally in 2006, as a coordination project between research groups of different Engineering Schools of Barcelona. It has received the recognition of the Generalitat of Catalunya, first as an emerging research group (2014-2016), and later as a pre-consolidated research group (2017 - 2020). 

How we do

We approach reality from the intersections between research, education and international cooperation for development and humanitarian aid.

The research group has a research for action spirit: innovative analysis and interventions that operate in specific problematic contexts and withe active participation of experts. The approach not only allows theoretical analysis and methodological proposals, but also facilitates the evaluation of its implementation and its use with other experts and non-expert actors.

We actively promote the use of scientific results to support peoples' human and sustainable development.

Our research and academic specialization focuses on the priorities of Global Development – poverty eradication, quality of life, sustainable growth, management of natural resources, human rights, justice, peace and security – and its challenges – eradication of poverty, climate change, sustainable environment and human development. 

The role of water, sanitation and energy stands out when addressing the Sustainable Development Goals: Meeting the basic needs of the population, promoting economic progress and responding to the demands of the productive sectors, as well as ensuring environmental health and sustainable management of natural resources.

We are currently working on specific lines of research that share common goals and approaches:

  • Multidisciplinary applied research, with foundations based on applied mathematics, experimental sciences and technology.
  • National and international research and networking projects.
  • Innovative contracts with agencies, governments and NGOs.

Research interests

EScGD has the aim of defining, developing and analyzing the applied use of conceptual, mathematical and statistical models for the support of multi-criteria decision making in the provision of services of water, sanitation and energy.

In particular, we focus on the different stages of the information cycle, from data to action: collection, processing, modelling, analysis, post-processing and use of results for an effective improvement in the sustainable provision of these basic services.

This global objective is addressed from a triple perspective: i) the sustainability and level of service to the individual, family and community; ii) the role of technological innovation in the different stages of the provision of the service; and iii) the organizational structure and the productive sector.

(1) Sustainability and levels of service of water and energy provision. We work on two main research questions: i) how to define, from a multidisciplinary perspective, the different attributes that condition the sustainable and equitable provision of water, sanitation and energy services?, ii) how to integrate advanced data analysis techniques into decision making and improve the management of these services? 

(2) Appropriate technology for the low cost provision of water and energy services. We work on two main research questions: i) what are the most reliable technologies and how can we ensure quality in the microgeneration of electricity, thermal energy and water quality in rural water supply and sanitation?, ii) how can we ensure the technical quality of low cost under-supervised services? 

(3) Productive industry and industrial organization We work on three main research questions: i) what are the key areas of industrial organization for improving the renewable energy and potable water value chains?, (ii) what opportunities do basic water and energy provision offer to promote decent employment and the sustainable growth of communities?, (iii) what business and business development strategies promote responsible energy and water production and consumption?