Katie Fritts of Kansas City, Mo., a senior in mechanical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, was recently selected to serve as a state representative for Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB). She is one of three state representatives for the Midwest region.
Fritts, president of the Missouri S&T EWB student chapter, has been a member of the chapter’s Honduras team for the past three years, helping in the areas of health, assessment, design and construction. This summer, the S&T team will go to Santiago, Honduras, where they will focus on water distribution and storage.
Fritts says she sought the representative position to help bridge the gap between individual chapters and EWB-USA so members could better serve the communities they work with.
“The work done by Engineers Without Borders is, in my eyes, a crucial component for students,” Fritts says. “We need to realize how we fit into the global scene and how we can go about making the world a better place through our unique engineering skills. What better way than to save lives around the world through designing and building sustainable projects that help communities with critical needs like water, sanitation and more?”
Incorporated in 2002, EWB-USA has more than 300 chapters nationwide and is led by professionals who have extensive experience working in developing countries, including serving as former Peace Corp members and missionaries.
“However, none of the national leadership has EWB student chapter experience,” says S&T EWB chapter adviser Dr. Rick Stephenson, professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineer at Missouri S&T. “Consequently, the addition of people such as Katie with extensive EWB chapter experience can bring the student perspective to EWB-USA management.”