Increasingly, we’ve found that engineering students at Oregon State University (OSU) are seeking ways to make a lasting impact on our world. In response to this demand, a diverse group of faculty is working together to launch a humanitarian engineering (HE) program: We define HE as the co-development of science- or engineering-based solutions to improve the human condition, namely through improved access to basic human needs (e.g., clean water, clean energy), an improved quality of life, or improved level of community resilience (e.g., disaster mitigation, economic resilience).
Engineers Without Borders summarizes their July 2012 implementation trip for a water project in Lela, Kenya
In 2008, the small farming community of Lela, Kenya asked Engineers Without Borders USA, for help with the Lela Community
Water Project, an effort to address the community’s lack of access to potable water. In 2009, the Oregon State University chapter of EWB-USA adopted the project and sent their first travel team to Lela. A second team returned in 2011 to conduct a technical water source assessment. After three years of work, which included a health survey, GPS mapping, water quality testing, and an alternatives analysis, EWB-OSU determined the best solutions were to drill a community water well fitted with an Afridev hand pump, and to build a rainwater catchment at the Lela Primary School. Continue reading
Clean drinking water is something we can take for granted, especially living in the rainy state of Oregon. It’s hard to imagine having to hike up mountains or to travel miles away from home to bring water to your family—but this is a reality for many communities across the globe. Over the last several years, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has been working to improve access to safe and clean drinking water for such communities, having wrapped up a successful project in El Salvador and poised to start a new effort in Lela, Kenya. Continue reading