CU-Boulder students are putting their engineering knowledge to work around the globe by helping to provide clean water, sanitation, and sustainable housing and energy solutions to people in developing communities.
The projects, which are coordinated through the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities and the CU student chapter of Engineers Without Borders, are changing the lives of people living in countries such as Rwanda, Nepal, and Peru—as well as the students themselves.
“It’s been a really broadening experience and helped me open my mind and consider different ways to do things," says Carrie McClelland, one of many students who were drawn to the program for the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.
CU Professor Bernard Amadei founded the non-profit organization, Engineers Without Borders-USA, which now has more than 12,000 members working in 48 countries, and holds the Mortenson Chair in Global Engineering in the college.
Among the projects CU engineering students have completed are building a gravity-fed water system for a village in Peru, installing solar-powered lighting in a medical clinic and school in Rwanda, and developing a reed-bed wastewater filtration system for a hospital in Nepal.
Graduate and undergraduate students can complete related coursework in the Engineering for Developing Communities track of civil engineering. They also can conduct research, which provides the basis for some service projects.