Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders

By UM News

Engineers Without Borders

By UM News

Engineers Without Borders

“Our team not only performed an outstanding job, but also had a fantastic learning experience” was the enthusiastic summary Daniel Quevedo (Junior,CAE) offered for this year’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) trip to Las Mercedes, Ecuador.  This  EWB project, now in its second year, involved the entire College of Engineering team  (students Miguel Amezcua, Maria Arguelles, Joey Ray, Daniel Quevedo, and industry mentors Manny  Moncholi, of Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, and Pete Robinson, of Hazen and Sawyer P.C.) in a range of activities: establishing contacts with government and local resources,  coordinating with local NGO partners, strategizing  about possible sanitation solutions, devising a potential sewage system, and surveying the contiguous areas.

 During their week-long trip (May 20-26), the team quickly realized that a complete sewage project, rather than merely a drainage plan, was the best solution for the community. This conclusion was the result of multiple meetings and discussions with the local officials and the  mayor. The EWB group hopes, in the next few years, to develop and assist the community in sanitary sewer hook ups which will connect every house in Las Mercedes to a central sewage system and replace the current outhouse-style bathroom facilities.

According to Dr. Helena Solo-Gabriele (EWB Student Chapter Advisor, Professor of CAE, and Associate Dean) this project exemplifies the ongoing College commitment to blend research and education, offering students real-world projects that bridge engineering principles with practical solutions.

Both Miguel and Daniel echoed Dr. Solo-Gabriele’s comment, adding that the opportunity to apply engineering concepts to actual, everyday problems is not only educational but immensely rewarding, both professionally and personally.