Our Mission

Creating Leaders, Meeting Global Needs

The Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB) program transforms invention education by engaging students in solving real-world engineering challenges through a hands-on, design-focused curriculum.

Harnessing the desire of young people all over the world to make a difference, the BTB program transforms students into innovators and ideas into sustainable solutions.

Our Program

Beyond Traditional Borders curriculum engages globally-minded students to work across disciplinary and geographic borders to design novel technology solutions to real-world challenges. Students participate in the entire process of designing, prototyping, and testing a technology to meet a real client’s needs while taking ownership of their own learning.



BTB includes a problem-based engineering curriculum that incorporates real-world design challenges throughout all aspects of the undergraduate experience including international internship and fellowship programs for exceptional students. Rice University has also institutionalized Beyond Traditional Borders in its Global Health Technologies Minor.

Faculty Network

BTB has developed an international network of faculty mentors to help implement and sustain curricular change. We work closely with faculty at each participating institution to host international faculty exchanges and workshops designed to help faculty learn to incorporate inquiry-based education in their teaching and to ensure that invention education is institutionalized as part of the university curriculum.

Engineering Design Studios

Local engineering design studios at participating institutions provide students with access to tools to prototype and test new inventions. Take a look at our currently operational design studios below! 

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen

Rice University

Houston, U.S.A

Design Studio

The Malawi Polytechnic

Blantyre, Malawi

Design Studio

Malawi University of Science and Technology

Limbe, Malawi

Design Studio

Dar es Salaam
Institute of Technology

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


Intern Stories From The Field

Since 2006, BTB students have completed internships in more than 13 countries around the globe. Read firsthand accounts of what they learned and accomplished.

Central America 




South America 



North America


United States

Partner Institutions