Program Nov. 16: Engineers Without Borders

Chaska Rotarian Bob Chinnock introduced a team from the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter at the University of Minnesota: Lily Hock, Kai Johnson, Andrew Kanewske, Nicole Spence and Ryan Vogt. These students devote their extra-curricular time to helping others, using their developing engineering skills on international projects in Ethiopia and Guatemala. Both efforts have life-changing benefits. There are 80 members and 10 mentors in their chapter. Once or twice a year they travel to their projects to work on assessment, design, resourcing and construction. Ten projects have been completed over the past 11 years. They partner with local non-governmental organizations to ensure continued local sustainable improvements. All of their costs are funded through donations and grants. They welcome any support or engineering mentorship that we could provide. The shared presentation was professionally presented with clarity, poise and enthusiasm. After describing the nature of their voluntary participation in these projects, Nicole Spence left us with memorable words: “It’s not work if you love what you’re doing!”

The EWB Mission:
The EWB University of Minnesota Chapter (EWB-UMN) is to partner with disadvantaged communities around the world and to improve their quality of life through implementation of engineered projects that prove environmentally and economically sustainable. Our goals are achieved through cooperation with each other, fellow institutions, and mentors on the basis of commitment, persistence, and concern for the recipients of our efforts. We strive to uphold and advance our principles for international responsibility and look forward to applying the experience in our future engineering careers. More information can be found on their web page.