Rowan's Engineers Without Borders chapter captures humanitarian award


Engineers Without BordersTM ? USA recently presented the Rowan University chapter of the organization with its annual Humanitarian Award?and a check for $1,000.

The Rowan group, staying true to mis

Team will use money for future volunteer effort

Engineers Without BordersTM ? USA recently presented the Rowan University chapter of the organization with its annual Humanitarian Award?and a check for $1,000.

The Rowan group, staying true to mission, plans to use the money to fund a future water distribution engineering project in a Third World country.

"The humanitarian award is a testament to the hard work of the Rowan university student chapter members," said Dr. Yusuf Mehta, the civil and environmental assistant professor who advises the EWB chapter. "The award money will continue to be used for implementation activities for ongoing and future projects."

The three-year old chapter, which is composed primarily of engineering students but also includes science and business majors, has been working hard to make a difference since its start.

This year, a team of six students and faculty from the college of engineering worked on a fish hatchery design for the Cheyenne River Tribe in South Dakota. The team developed a guide to help assist the tribe in the implementation of a commercial fish production facility that can generate 100,000 pounds of fish a year utilizing water reuse technology. Currently, the tribe is seeking a technical mentor to evaluate the work before it is implemented; if the plan is viable, Rowan plans to send a team to South Dakota to help design part of the hatchery.

Last spring, students and faculty spent spring break in Thailand, where they installed a water distribution system in conjunction with a team from Columbia University. After spending the fall and early spring semester designing the logistics of the water distribution system, identifying proper equipment to bring for water quality testing and surveying work, raising money for the trip and supplies and learning about the culture, the team constructed a two-mile long pipe to supplement an existing pipe in supplying a village with drinking water and conducted a site assessment for the design of a sanitary sewer collection and treatment system for the community.

In 2004, another Rowan group of students teamed with Lafayette College in Pennsylvania to design irrigation and wastewater systems for the Yoro district of Honduras. The Rowan group traveled to Central America in August 2004 to start the project, which the Honduran government completed.

The EWB work is part of one of dozens of Rowan Engineering's clinic projects. Each semester, the College of Engineering offers students opportunities to participate in multi-disciplinary teams that tackle efforts for the University, major corporations, area governments and international organizations. Unlike most engineering education programs, Rowan Engineering requires students to participate in clinics every semester from freshman year through graduation in an effort to provide students with a comprehensive hands-on, mind-on education that best prepares them for graduate school or the workforce.

(The non-profit, humanitarian organization Engineers Without BordersTM helps developing areas throughout the world with their engineering needs while involving and training socially responsible engineering students. The organization's projects?which are meant to be self-sustaining?include the design and construction of water, wastewater, sanitation, energy and shelter systems with involvement by and contributions from the communities for which Engineers-Without-BordersTM undertakes the projects.)