Engineers Without Borders at UWM
UWM Libraries and Friends of Library Co-sponsors
John Reisel, Associate Professor in UWM's College of Engineering and Applied Science, will provide an overview of the Engineers Without Borders program at UWM and its projects, during his UWM's Academic Adventurers presentation "Water for Rural Guatemala: UWM Engineers Without Borders in Action."
Friday, February 8, 2013, 3:00 p.m.
American Geographical Society Library
Third Floor, East Wing
Golda Meir Library building
Engineers without Borders at UWM (EWB@UWM) is part of a national organization EWB-USA. At the request of host countries, the program provides eager, smart engineering students for “humanitarian engineering” missions to developing countries. UWM is encouraging students to consider how the 5 billion people on earth who earn less than $10 a day could have their lives made easier by engineering.
EWB@UWM began in late 2006. Its efforts are focused in the rural northwest highlands of Guatemala on a water distribution and sanitation project.
Like any engineering project, design for conditions is very important and done under cost constraints. Unlike other engineering projects, the product must be simple, parts long-lasting and easy to repair because the system must be maintained in rural areas by technically uneducated people. Add to the circumstances cultural differences and suspicion of some technologies, as well as language difficulties and the UWM engineering students learn to solve enormous problems.
Do students enjoy the work? Many return at least once to add to the gravity fed water distribution system or adjust the existing one. In fact, UWM is becoming a national leader in pioneering returning volunteers for the sake of continuity with the project and the villages affected.
UWM's Academic Adventurers presentations are free and open to the public. For more information, call 414-229-6282.
Photos courtesy John Reisel.