Members of the UMR chapter of Engineers Without Borders are working to design sustainable solutions to problems ranging from waste management to energy generation for residents of Bolivia, Guatemala and Honduras.
Earlier this year, more than 60 students traveled to the countries to assist with sanitation and water supplies. The students are now preparing for return trips to the countries, where they hope to implement their latest plans.
One UMR team is designing and constructing a potable water system, sanitary waste control and solar lighting for a school of 260 students in Collegio Rio Colorado, Bolivia. Another UMR team, in partnership with Black & Veatch, is developing a design to provide potable water and sanitary waste water control to Santiago, Honduras, a community of 7,000.
In Solola, Guatemala, a team is continuing its partnership to help in the expansion of a high school, including development of a sustaining sanitary waste disposal system.
In January 2008, a team of three UMR students and two faculty members will travel to Bolivia to assess new projects, including a bridge in Tacachia that would allow access to markets and health care during the rainy season and a sanitary waste system for the Carabuco community.
“The energy and dedication of our EWB students continue to amaze everyone who comes in contact with them,” says faculty advisor Rick Stephenson, professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at UMR. “Their passion for working with the poor and neglected of the Third World to improve their standard of living is an inspiration to me. They constantly remind me of our unofficial motto that engineers can save more lives than doctors.”