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Engineers Without Borders:. changing the landscape of the developing world. Corianne Hart Engineers Without Borders, Portland State Chapter Environmental Engineering, M.S. 2008. Overview. EWB-USA EWB-Portland State University Chapter PSU Past Projects PSU Future Projects

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engineers without borders
Engineers Without Borders:

changing the landscape of the developing world

Corianne Hart

Engineers Without Borders, Portland State Chapter

Environmental Engineering, M.S. 2008


  • EWB-Portland State University Chapter
  • PSU Past Projects
  • PSU Future Projects
  • How to get involved!
ewb usa overview
EWB-USA Overview
  • A non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life
  • Involves the implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students
ewb usa history
EWB-USA History
  • Founded by Dr. Bernard Amadei, at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in April 2000
  • First Project – San Pablo, Belize water supply system
  • Mobilized 8 University of Colorado students, forming the founding members of the first chapter
  • Demonstrated the potential of professional and student engineers working together
ewb usa mission statement
EWB-USA Mission Statement

To partner with developing communities to improve their quality of life through the implementation of environmentally sustainable, equitable, and economical engineering projects.

In the process of working to advance developing communities, EWB-USA promotes the development of globally aware and internationally responsible engineers, students, and professionals

ewb portland state chapter student service organization
EWB – Portland State ChapterStudent service organization
  • Founded in 2005
    • 30 students
    • 4 faculty
    • Several professional mentors
  • Multidisciplinary:
    • Civil
    • Mechanical
    • Electrical
    • Environmental
    • Economics
  • Implemented 2 projects in Nicaragua
ewb psu partnerships
EWB-PSU Partnerships
  • Jessie F. Richardson Foundation
  • EWB Portland Professionals
  • Teamworks International
  • Nicaraguan municipality in Jinotepe
  • University of Paulo Friere, Nicaragua
  • PSU Institute on Aging
ewb psu events and fundraising
EWB-PSU Events and Fundraising
  • EWB-PSU Annual Fundraising Banquet
  • Chinook Book Fundraiser
  • West Coast regional workshop (2007)
  • PSU – Student Activity Leadership Program
ewb psu projects nicaragua
EWB-PSU Projects - Nicaragua
  • 2006
    • Implementations
    • Assessments
  • 2007
    • Implementations
    • Assessments
  • 2008
    • Future Projects
ewb psu nicaraguan communities 2006
EWB-PSU Nicaraguan Communities (2006)
  • Jinotepe
    • Water distribution system
  • Matagalpa
    • Irrigation system
ewb psu completed projects and assessments 2006
EWB-PSU Completed Projects and Assessments (2006)
  • Implementation: Matagalpa irrigation system
  • Assessments: Jinotepe water distribution system

Finished drip system at orchard

Schematic of irrigation drip system implemented in Matagalpa

ewb psu nicaraguan communities 2007
EWB-PSU Nicaraguan Communities (2007)
  • Implementations
    • Jinotepe
      • Hogar
  • Assessments
    • El Bluff
      • Community & Schools
    • Puerta Cabezas
      • Hospital & School
    • Jinotepe
      • School and Huehuete well
ewb psu completed projects and assessments 2007
EWB-PSU Completed Projects and Assessments (2007)
  • Water Tank & Tower Installation
  • Roof Stabilization System
  • Electrical System Upgrade Installation

Preliminary foundation design

Installing tank and tower

ewb psu nicaragua 2007
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007
  • Team members:
    • 9 engineering students
    • 1 professional engineer
    • 9 health students
  • Implementation
    • Two weeks in country
    • June 2007
ewb psu nicaragua 20071
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007
  • Residents of the Hogar
ewb psu nicaragua 20072
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Water Tank & Tower Installation Goals:

  • Elevate the 2500-liter tank currently on ground
    • Locate tower for this tank  
    • Construct the concrete tower footings
    • Isolate the current tower for continued facility water service.
    • Install the tank
  • Elevate the new 5000-liter tank
    • Construct the concrete footings for the second new tower.
    • Install the tank
  • Connect tanks
ewb psu nicaragua 20073
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Water Tower

Site Assessment

First time to see the site

Check physical dimensions

Connect to people at the Hogar

ewb psu nicaragua 20074
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Water Tower

Introduction to Nicaraguan engineering students

Start foundation excavation

ewb psu nicaragua 20075
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Water Tower

Adjustments to a prefabricated tower

Nicaraguan students brought skills and equipment

ewb psu nicaragua 20076
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Water Tower

Placement of 5000 L water tank

ewb psu nicaragua 20077
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Water Tower


Leg of tower directly over an unpressurized water main


Rotated tower legs

ewb psu nicaragua 20078
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Roof Stabilization System Goals:

  • Stabilize the roof system to prevent tiles from shifting or falling during a seismic event.
  • Metal tension strapping to be attached into the roof frame and concrete of the exterior wall.
ewb psu nicaragua 20079
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Roof Stabilization:

700 feet of CS16 galvanized steel tension strapping donated by Simpson Strong-Tie

ewb psu nicaragua 200710
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Roof Stabilization:

Bolted strapping to concrete wall

ewb psu nicaragua 200711
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Roof Stabilization:

Straps must be installed in tension

ewb psu nicaragua 200712
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007

Electrical System goals:

  • Examine and correct the unsafe existing circuits.
  • Consider the exposed junction boxes.
ewb psu nicaragua 200713
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007


Nicaraguan electrical contractor assessed students with electrical work

ewb psu nicaragua 200714
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007


Students measured and cut all conduit

ewb psu nicaragua 200715
EWB-PSU Nicaragua 2007


Created individual light switches for each room

ewb psu active projects spring 2008
EWB-PSU Active Projects (Spring 2008)
  • Jinotepe elementary school flooding project
  • Puerto Cabezas hospital water distribution/ purification project
  • Huehuete well design/management

Central clinic in Puerto Cabezas

School flooding project in Jinotepe

engineers without borders get involved
Engineers without BordersGet Involved!
  • Become involved in building a better world one community at a time, whether you are:
    • An engineering student
    • A student in some other field of study
    • A professional engineer or university faculty member
    • Not an engineer at all!
engineers without borders get involved1
Engineers without BordersGet Involved!
  • How to Volunteer?
    • Join or Start a Chapter
    • Be a Professional Reviewer
    • Coordinate Between Projects
    • Provide Technical Expertise
    • Help as a Non-Engineer
    • Support Our Administrative Needs

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

–R.W. Emerson

Thank you