We argue for the need for and provide an example of a new form of community-based engineering education in Rwanda. We draw on Bourdieu’s theories of field and habitus to frame the arguments for an alternative to the current dominant engineering education model. The proposed community engineering education programme has three key facets including the development of critical thinking of students using critical theory, the students’ creation of alternative practices as a result of such critical thinking, and the appropriate pedagogy for delivering the programme. This model programme is aimed to address Rwanda’s endemic problems of economic development, poverty, environment, healthcare and energy. Specifically, it can allow students to develop very much needed, socially and environmentally just engineering systems as well as locally appropriate businesses, thus directly addressing the needs of the country and its people. The programme could apply to any post-conflict situation or indeed any development context.