UTEC - Harvard Students Collaborative Program

During this program, twelve undergraduate students (six from Harvard and six from UTEC) will learn about the environmental and social impacts of illegal gold mining in the Amazon, and how this can escalate into an issue that has global implications. Working together with student counterparts, UTEC students under the guidance of Harvard SEAS professor Joost Vlassak and UTEC professor Carlos Ríos will travel to the Amazon Basin to observe, learn, and design solutions to address and mitigate the impact.

The program will begin in Lima, where students will be given lectures at UTEC to better understand the social, environmental, and economic impact of informal gold mining in the region of Madre de Dios (the Amazon Basin) and tools for solutions design. These initial activities will be complemented with a one-week field trip to the Amazon rainforest and the high Andes near Cusco (where participants will meet with local farming communities) to evaluate the impact of gold mining, observe local agricultural practices, and speak with local experts (researchers, NGOs, etc).  This program ends with presentations of each groups at UTEC in Lima.

Become a part of the solution to some of the most pressing global environmental issues at the intersection of engineering, business and policy.


The program at a glance

Selection Criteria

Program Cost


Selection Criteria

- Be a current student at UTEC (registered in 2019-2)

- 13.00 GPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) or better

English language proficiency certification such as TOEFL: minimun score TOEFL ITP: 550, minimun score TOEFL iBT: 80

- Two letters of recommendation from UTEC Faculty members who have worked with the applicant in previous projects. You must choose a professor who has supervised you. Generic letters of recommendation will not be accepted. Faculty is encouraged to use the UTEC-SEAS Support Letter Form

- Applicants must have passed all sciences courses and at least three specific courses of their major.

- Applicants are also required to register in a PI course in 2020-1 to continue the project.

- Applicants should have availability to work in the project during summer 2020 (it is preferable)

- Applicants must have had a successful experience/participation in at least two other projects (the second could be going on during this semester)

- Experience in manufacturing, use of tools, or work experience will be valued.

- We are looking for very motivated students with strong social skills with attitude to work in a multi-cultural environment.

Program Cost

US$850 + 2 UTEC credits (PI course)


Harvard - UTEC field program covers accommodation, orientation, academic workshops, organized group activities and excursions for all participants.

Vaccination, meals, travel insurance and airfare to Madre de Dios (Peru) and Boston (USA) are NOT included.

Applicants to UTEC-SEAS Collaborative Field Program could be selected for an UTEC GO grant. 

Applicants to UTEC-SEAS Collaborative Field Program could be selected for an UTEC Go International Grant.


- Joost Vlassak, Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Materials Engineering, Harvard University

- Carlos A. Ríos Pérez, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC)

- Patricia Céspedes, Head of Internationalization, Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC)

For more information on the UTEC - Harvard Students Collaborative Program framework, please send an email to international@utec.edu.pe