Engineers Without Borders

Erica (left) and Michael (right) testing the reservoir in Cameroon.

The UD chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), recently completed two projects; a water distribution system in Cameroon and a bridge in Guatemala. The engineering students worked closely with community officials to adapt each project to the community’s needs–putting classroom theory into practice.

The project in Cameroon began June 2007 with an initial site assemsment trip. Between 2009 and 2010, the group implemented filtration units, dug wells, connected a school atop a hill to water, and added solar powered water pumps to borehole wells. In June 2010 the group returned to build a 20,000 liter storage tank that uses a gravity fed system to get safe, clean drinking water from the reservoir to different locations. Members, including Erica Addonizio, Jonathan Perna, and Michael Orella, returned January 2013 to put the finishing touches on the system, to make repairs as necessary, and to write a manual about maintaining the water system. Currently, they are translating the service manual into French.

The community of San Marcos, Guatemala, was in need of a bridge to help rural farmers maintain their crops, which are separated by a river that floods during the rainy season. UD engineering students traveled to Guatemala in 2009 to begin coordinating with the local administrative council, collect samples, and conduct a water survey. In 2012, after materials testing and a hydrological study the prior year, the team started building. In 2013 the team, including Dhara Amin, returned to add a plaque, assess the bridge, and make any needed repairs.

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EWB students

About our guests

  • Erica Addonizio, Chemical Engineering, 2014 – Cameroon project
  • Jonathon Perna, Chemical Engineering, 2014 – Cameroon project
  • Michael Orella, Honors Chemical Engineering, 2014 – Cameroon project
  • Dhara Amin, Mechanical Engineering, 2013 – Guatemala project
  • About Engineers Without Borders (from the EWB-USA Web site):
    • EWB’s vision is a world in which the communities we serve have the capacity to sustainably meet their basic human needs, and that our members have enriched global perspectives through the innovative professional educational opportunities that the EWB-USA program provides.
      Our MEMBERSHIP consists of professionals and students from a variety of professions including engineering, public health, anthropology and business. Through its projects and programs, EWB-USA provides innovative professional educational opportunities that provide a global perspective.
    • Our MISSION — EWB-USA supports community-driven development programs worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders.
    • EWB-USA has chosen the delivery of smaller scale infrastructure projects within an overall community program framework as its program delivery model. At its core, the EWB-USA model is rooted in practical engineering solutions. However, in order to be successful, program designers must consider a wide range of inputs from the socio-cultural dimensions of the community to local project ownership and other requirements for long-term project viability.

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