Engineers Without Borders

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017

Author: Calvin Lokko

I am involved with a student club called Engineers Without Borders at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (EWB-UAH). The purpose of our chapter is to help build a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs and equip leaders to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Through these projects, we hope to improve quality of life through implementation of environmentally equitable and economically sustainable engineering projects. We volunteer with local non-profit organizations and on international projects. 

The goal of our 2017-2018 international project agenda is to build an irrigation system in Machaquila, Guatemala. The Mission of God’s Helping Hands, Inc. has requested a low energy water pumping system to irrigate roughly 100 acres of a 500 acre campus. The Mission’s current irrigation system relies on using potable water to irrigate their agricultural fields. In order to conserve potable water supplies, it is essential to utilize an alternative water source for agricultural use. This clinic uses these agricultural fields to have a supplemental income. The fields also double as a community agricultural training ground. It allows the locals to learn advanced techniques to increase the crop yield, and provide nutritious food for the family farmer. The mission also focuses on the physical and spiritual health of the community. The clinic services many descendants of the great Mayan civilization. (As we know, the ancient Mayans were some of the best engineers). Many orphans, local military personnel, and average people use the clinic. EWB-UAH is planning our first site visit in May of 2018.

 

In conjunction with our international project objective, EWB-UAH is designing a scaled version of the aforementioned project on the Servants In Faith And Technology (SIFAT) campus in Lineville, Alabama. SIFAT focuses on training groups to travel to third world countries. Those groups include groups like Auburn University’s EWB chapter, and UAB’s public health program. The SIFAT has full scale replicas of living conditions volunteers will find around the world (see the attached photos). This school year, EWB-UAH is testing our irrigation pump models in Lineville before making the long trip to Guatemala. Our short-term goal is to have a system that can easily be adapted to the clinic’s needs. Our overall goal is to have a full scale system ready for installation by 2019.

I love being part of this organization where engineering is creating solutions to problems to help people live more comfortable lives. Plus, who doesn’t want to travel?

To read more about Engineers Without Borders USA or find out how to volunteer visit https://www.ewb-usa.org/

Leave a Reply