Engineers Without Borders USA
Engineers Without Borders USA builds a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs. Our highly skilled volunteers work with communities to find appropriate solutions for their infrastructure needs.
In 2000, University of Colorado civil engineering Professor Bernard Amadei connected with a landscaper working in his backyard. The man, Angel Tzec, invited Professor Amadei to visit his village in San Pablo, Belize which desperately needed a reliable source of clean water. Once there, Professor Amadei was stunned to see that most of the community’s children did not attend school because their time was dedicated to collecting water from miles away. While the community had the natural resources and motivation to build a reliable water supply system, they lacked the technical skills to design a lasting solution. Professor Amadei realized that as a civil engineer, there had to be something he could do.
Professor Amadei went home and consulted colleagues on potential solutions, then returned to the community with a prototype and fourteen of his students to put the plan into action. The team installed a clean water system supplied and powered by a waterfall a quarter-mile from the community. This simple and low-cost solution was the first EWB-USA project!
Dr. Amadei continued to harness the power of professional and student engineers to complete similar low-tech, high-impact projects in other developing countries by officially founding Engineers Without Borders USA in 2002. Dubbed the “Blueprint Brigade” by Time Magazaine, EWB-USA is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization that has grown from a handful of passionate individuals to an organization of more than 14,100 passionate members working on hundreds of engineering projects across the globe. These projects are driven by 275 chapters across the United States partnering directly with communities to meet their self-identified needs. Technical assistance is focused on six project types:
Atlanta Professional Chapter
Established in 2005 by a small but determined group of engineers, EWB-Atlanta is the only professional chapter of EWB-USA in Georgia. The chapter is an interdisciplinary collaboration of engineers, marketing professionals, While the chapter primarily consists of engineering professionals, it also relies on contributions from individuals in a wide range of disciplines. EWB-Atlanta is currently involved in multiple domestic and international projects. For international projects, members travel to the community that has requested help, assess the sites, establish a community partnership, design the appropriate solution, and procure funding. EWB-Atlanta then manages and implements the project with hands-on help from the local population.
EWB-Atlanta contributes to meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals through capacity building in community projects. Capacity building is defined in that context as “…the building or strengthening of human, institutional, and infrastructure capacity to help societies develop secure, stable and sustainable economies, governments, and other institutions through mentoring, training, education, physical projects, the infusion of financial and other resources, and most importantly, the motivation and inspiration of people to improve their lives.”