Published: Dec. 1, 2012 By

Bernard Amadei and children in BelizeWhen CU engineering professor Bernard Amadei visited a village lacking running water, electricity and sanitation in San Pablo, Belize, he became determined to help.

He returned with eight CU-Boulder students and an engineering expert to install a waterfall-powered system to provide clean water to the villagers. The impactful experience led to the formation of Engineers Without Borders.

The organization celebrated its 10-year anniversary in October. Since that initial trip of 10 people, Engineers Without Borders has grown to more than 12,000 students, faculty and professionals. Each person has helped provide sustainable engineering projects to the developing world, including Rwanda, the West Bank and Afghanistan. Projects range from water and sanitation improvements to solar energy.

“Interacting with locals, managing drillers and doing basic engineering in a tiny village halfway around the world was intense and fulfilling,” says Tom Rutkowski (MCivEngr’03), who built two water wells in a 600-person village in Madagascar in 2009 through Engineers Without Borders.

“By the last day, I was totally exhausted and the schoolteacher gathered his class around one of the wells and all the students sang a tribute song to EWB. I cried.”

Give to CU-Boulder’s Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities at