Three groups from the Engineers Without Borders student chapter at the University of Missouri-Rolla are leaving this month for missions in Bolivia and Guatemala.
“Becoming involved with EWB allows us to better ourselves as people and engineers, and also better the lives of others,” says Patrick Lancey of Kansas City, Mo., a sophomore in ceramic engineering. “From an engineering perspective, EWB gives us the opportunity to apply what we are learning in the classroom to a real-life situation.”
Inka Katurapi, a tiny village of roughly 80 families in Bolivia, draws nearly 200 people to its high school from as far as five miles away. Last May, the EWB team installed a three-pot composting latrine system for the high school. The latrines were built above four concrete block bins. At the top of each bin, a lattice of wood and leaves separates the waste and eucalyptus leaves added after each use accelerates the composting process. This year, 13 UMR students and two faculty advisors will leave May 13 and spend their 10 days focused on teaching residents how to construct, operate and maintain individual composting latrines; conduct a community health assessment; and evaluate drinking water quality.
Elsewhere, a team of 22 UMR students, two faculty advisors and one professional partner plans to leave May 13 and spend 16 days in Rio Colorado, Bolivia, drilling a new well, building clean water showers for 180 boys and 80 girls, and assessing wastewater management needs. The Rio Colorado Technical Agricultural High School — despite its rain forest setting — lacks a safe a sustainable water supply.
“In addition, one team will give and explain new lab supplies and manuals to the professors, allowing them to make use of their currently empty science lab,” Lancey says. “Another team will set up various wind and solar instruments to collect data and allow us to look into an alternative power source to replace the existing diesel generators.”
A team of seven UMR students, two faculty advisors and two professional partners will spend May 19-29 in Solola, Guatemala. The EWB chapter is continuing its partnership with Guatemala, which began last year with a team demonstrating proper construction techniques for earthquake resistant housing. This year the group will design and construct a school, conduct cultural and health assessments, and assess water and wastewater management needs.
Dinko Vujic of Lake St. Louis, Mo., a sophomore in civil engineering, says the trips give him a chance to add to his resume and life experiences while helping the less fortunate.
“This program builds character in a person, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will not only change the lives of those people, but ours as well,” Vujic adds.
The 111-member student chapter at UMR has a good male-to-female ratio with 13 different majors represented and a 3.3 average GPA, says Dr. Rick Stephenson, professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at UMR and the group’s advisor.
The UMR EWB student chapter receives financial support from General Motors, UMR, the UMR Student Design and Experiential Learning Center, Ft. Leonard Wood Chapter of American Military Engineers, Rotary International’s Southwest Springfield Club, Black and Veatch, Ressler and Associates, George Butler Associates, Geotechnology, the UMR School of Engineering and the UMR Academy of Civil Engineers.
In addition, the chapter has received design advice from Engineering Inspection and Consulting Services, Sunbelt Environmental Services and the Masonry Institute of St. Louis.
Students traveling to Bolivia include: Zachary M. Anderson-Boland of Kansas City, Mo., a sophomore in biological sciences; Bethany A. Bartholomaus of Springfield, Mo., a senior in civil engineering; David M. Baugher of Chesterfield, Mo., a senior in civil engineering; Julie T. Baumann of St. Louis, a senior in ceramic engineering; Terry L. Blue Jr. of Rolla, Mo., a senior in mechanical engineering; Kristine E. Brown of Kansas City, Mo., a sophomore in chemical engineering; Lindsey N. Campbell of Parma, Mo., a senior in ceramic engineering; Ryan D. Carson of Manchester, Mo., a senior in architectural engineering; Alvaro D. Lopez of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a senior in petroleum engineering; Eric G. Evola of St. Louis, Mo., a freshman in ceramic engineering; Charles D. Farley of St. James, Mo., a graduate student in civil engineering; Sheena K. Foster of Sunrise Beach, Mo., a senior in ceramic engineering; Christina R. Graham of Euless, Mo., a junior in aerospace engineering; Maria R. Kargus of St. Louis, a senior in environmental engineering; Jennifer L. Kelley of Ballwin, Mo., a sophomore in civil engineering; Patrick W. Lancey of Kansas City, Mo., a sophomore in ceramic engineering; Noah J. Ledford of Hockessin, Del., a senior in aerospace engineering; Joshua D. Lehmen of Freeburg, Mo., a senior in civil engineering; David W. Longrie of Grover, Mo., a senior in civil engineering; Thomas A. McKinnon of Bucklin, Mo., a sophomore in electrical engineering; Michael V. McNamee of Fenton, Mo., a senior in architectural and civil engineering; Joshua W. Mooney of Clever, Mo., a junior in civil engineering; Allison N. Poulignot of Harrisonville, Mo., a sophomore in chemical engineering; Leslee Roderick of Lebanon, Mo., a senior in civil engineering; Nicholas H. Schreiner of Ankeny, N.Y., a senior in mechanical engineering; Thomas J. Scroggin of Rolla, Mo., a senior in mining engineering; Sarah L. Shell of Barnhart, Mo., a sophomore in environmental engineering; Terrence John Silva Sison of Manchester, Mo., a senior in engineering management; Jordan L. Varble of Farmington, Mo., a junior in business; Dinko Vujic of Rolla, Mo., a sophomore in civil engineering; and Jared Wehde of Foley, Mo., a senior in environmental engineering.
Students traveling to Guatemala include: Andrew M. Blair of Perryville, Mo., a junior in civil engineering; Gavin B. Donohue of St. Louis, a junior in civil engineering; Philip G. Graf of Perryville, Mo., a junior in mechanical engineering; Alyson D. Habermehl of Rolla, Mo., a freshman; Paul B. Hamilton of Kansas City, Mo., a sophomore in civil engineering; Ariel Hernandez-Cifuentes of Rolla, Mo., a senior in computer science; Brandon A. Kerr of Arbela, Mo., a senior in engineering management; and Douglas L. Love of Warrensburg, Mo., a junior in civil engineering.