Engineering organization to travel overseas for construction projects

Some of Tech’s engineering students are taking their skills overseas to help less fortunate communities.

Engineers Without Borders is a new student organization that will go to foreign countries to complete projects. The projects deal with building and rebuilding structures in a safer, more efficient way. There is a wide range of projects, but the goal is to help people who do not have the resources to complete it themselves.

The members of EWB recently voted on which project they would like to take on. According to Robert Griffin, senior mechanical engineering major and EWB president, Tech’s project will either be in Ecuador or the Philippines.

“We voted between the two projects, and we are actually applying for both,” Griffin said. “We’re currently in the application processes for a water filtration system in either country.”

EWB’s first choice between the two projects would put the engineers in Chaguarpamba, Ecuador, a community lacking clean drinking water. The water is a major cause of illness in the area.

“The illness prevents economic gain and production due to time lost at work,” Griffin said. “Because their water is undrinkable, they are unable to advance as a community.”

EWB’s project is to install a system that makes the water safe to drink. The system will benefit at least 1,200 people in the area. EWB will also be working with the Peace Corps on this project.

If Tech’s EWB chapter is not chosen for the Ecuador project, the other option would take place in Susugaen, Philippines. This area also has a problem with water. Instead of one big project, this choice has two slightly smaller projects, according to Griffin.

Susugaen’s source of water is not reliable, so modifications to the current water system must be made. The community also has a problem with sinkholes due to the way the current system is built.

“These have caused a loss of water during the dry season,” Griffin said. “They are unable to produce crops to feed the area and are limited on how much drinking water they have.”

Completion of the Susugaen project would benefit several hundred people.

EWB will know which project they have been chosen for within the next few months. The goal is to begin the first project next summer.