Engineers Without Borders Local and International Projects
“RPI’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders is currently involved in aiding communities in Panama, Nicaragua, and locally in Troy. Along with the guidance from our professional mentors, our club’s work is providing tangible solutions to real-world issues and enabling people to have access to basic human needs. The engineering problems that we solve require our club to travel to the communities we are working with, and purchase any necessary materials to construct the designs we create. Our organization would appreciate your support in helping us accomplish our goals and fulfill our mission. Thank you for helping us build a better community!” -Cameron Smith '22
What You're Supporting
For the Local Project, the chapter of Engineers Without Borders at Rensselaer is partnered with Capital Roots, an organization based in Troy, New York. Our chapter is working with one of the organization's 54 community gardens. When the project was adopted, the garden we are working with relied on the fire department to fill up barrels of water for community members to water their crops. To alleviate the stress on the fire department and help make the garden more sustainable, the local project team has designed a rainwater catchment system. Currently, the project group is working to construct the design so that it can be implemented in Fall 2020.
Our Panamá Project involves the installation of a photovoltaic system in the village of a small Ngöbe indigineous community in Isla Popa II, Bocas del Toro, Panamá. Through thorough assessments, we found that the places to install the systems where the most impact could be made were on the church and the local school of this community. In January 2019, we traveled to Isla Popa II, and installed half of the system on the school, providing power to it for the first time in over twenty years. Currently, we plan on traveling next year to finish the installation of the full system on both the school and the church.
Our project is focused on improving a 17-year-old water distribution system in the small rural community of Sasle, Nicaragua. Sasle is a community of around 1,000 people within 200 households. Approximately 60 households don’t have access to water. We started working with Sasle in 2016, and we are planning our first implementation trip for summer 2020. We had assessment trips in January 2017 and January 2018. Currently, the community is concerned with the inadequate supply of water during the day, but during the evening the water distribution system actually overflows and wastes water because there is little usage in the evening. To fix this, we are planning on installing a water storage tank during our first implementation trip to capture this waste and supplement the water distribution supply during the day. After we solve the issue of capacity, we can then work on connecting as many households as possible in the following implementation. There are also necessary repairs and maintenance to the system that we need to address as well.
Who We Are
Engineers Without Borders-RPI is a non-profit club, and chapter of the larger, national Engineers Without Borders organization. The mission of EWB is to support community-driven development programs worldwide through the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while fostering responsible leadership. For more information, please visit the Engineers Without Borders-RPI website.