The student chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo was founded in 2005 by a core group of students dedicated to making a global impact. Cal Poly’s EWB chapter has successfully implemented projects across the globe, impacting the lives of thousands. We are working towards improving sanitation in India, providing food storage and safer bridges Thailand, building a public school Nicaragua, and creating a bike powered maize mill in Malawi. Our chapter was recently honored as the Premier Student Chapter by EWB-USA, demonstrating the commitment of our members. The enthusiasm and passion of our students is not only seen in our successful project history, but also the growth that our organization has realized in the past two years. In less than two years, our membership has tripled to a total of over 200 active members who are looking to make a difference in purposeful projects.
We currently have projects in four countries: Nicaragua, Malawi, Thailand, and India. Each project is tailored to the communities needs and we go to great lengths to work with the community to produce sustainable solutions.
Since 2005, EWB Cal Poly Thailand team has maintained a lasting relationship with the communities in northern Thailand in an effort to improve their quality of life through sustainable development projects. During 2005-2012 the team completed successful implementation and monitoring of a slow sand water filtration system, providing the Huai Nam Khun school and surrounding communities with access to clean drinking water. In 2014 the team completed working with the community of Maejantai to implement an organic composting station to reduce the farmer's dependence on chemical fertilizers and improve the soil structure for the village’s coffee farms. 2015 marks a new year and a fresh start for the Thailand Team. The Thailand team has formed new partnership with the community of Pa Kloi to help them construct a safer, more reliable suspension bridge and improve their methods for refrigeration of food.
Check out the Thailand team Travel Blog !
Since 2010, the EWB Cal Poly India team has been working to improve sanitation in Sainji. The community is located in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, and inhabited by Jaunpuri subsistence farmers. The remote community displays a need for advanced sanitation facilities. The India team is working in collaboration with the Garhwal Organization for the Upliftment of the Needy, a local NGO, to implementing a four-stage wastewater treatment system.
Check out the India team Travel Blog !
The Engineers Without Borders Nicaragua team recently returned from a successful monitoring trip for its public elementary school project. Now, the team is beginning a water distribution project for a rural community with only one centrally located well. The new project may also incorporate water filtration, depending on the results of water quality testing that the team will conduct on the summer assessment trip. The team is currently researching water distribution and filtration solutions, and plans to begin a detailed design and prototype in the upcoming quarters. All students are encouraged to get involved! The team is looking for underclassmen to join the team now and see the project through to completion, and upperclassmen to oversee the technical design.
The Malawi Team has been working in the community of Kumponda since 2013. The primary needs of the community relate to food security, water accessibility, and nearby healthcare. Potential projects being looked into include maize milling, organic composting, household bio-sand filters, and hospital construction. The team strives to develop a multi-beneficial design that will not only alleviate an issue, but also provide economic opportunities for the community. Despite Malawi being one of the poorest countries in the world, the people of Kumponda have high spirits, are hardworking, and will surely take full ownership of any project.
Check out the Malawi team Travel Blog !
Local Projects is currently working to build an eco-friendly and efficient restroom facility for Camp Natoma, which is part of Camp Fire USA. It is located just outside Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County, California. This is a summer camp for kids between Kindergarten and Twelfth Grade. This past quarter, we collected soil samples from Camp Natoma to determine the components of the soil which tells us what type of foundation is necessary. Currently, we are researching for different types of possible foundations and graywater systems. This restroom facility will use a graywater system while using as little electricity as possible, primarily relying on sky lights and the architecture of the building to provide light. Local Projects is also involved with smaller community service projects throughout the year. This past quarter Local Projects helped finish a greenhouse for Growing Grounds and installed solar panels onto low income housing with GRID Alternatives last year.
Interested? Fill out the form below to be added to the Engineers Without Borders Cal Poly mailing list. Leave a message if you're interested in joining a specific team, and we'll get back to you! Also, click on the calender below to access the EWB Cal Poly Google Calender where you can find out when upcoming meetings, workshops, and fun social events are taking place.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Contact us through the email provided below. Also, check us out on Facebook and Twitter!
Lydia Van Muckey
An integral part of our success as an organization comes from the support of our ever extending network of donors. Over half of our funding comes from YOUR support. Whether you are our family, friends, or a company supporter – you can help make a difference. 100% of your donation will go straight to supporting our project teams implement low-cost, practical engineering designs that are assisting an estimated 23,000 people. Below are some statistics you might find shocking – all of which we are directly addressing:
80% of the world lives on less than $10 per day.
1.1 billion people have inadequate access to clean drinking water.
2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation.
Close to half of all people in developing countries suffer at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.
We challenge you to help be a part of the solution. So, give up coffee for a week and donate the money saved to our projects – it could buy a toilet for a family in India. Instead of driving to school or work this week, bike instead and donate the money saved on gas – it could be used to build accessible health care in Nicaragua. That tax return you got, give it up and donate it to our projects – it could install a slow sand water filtration system for an entire village in Thailand.