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Oregon Tech Engineers Without Borders Receive Grant to Expand Work in Tanzania

Apr 16, 2013
With the ongoing support of Boeing University Relations Grants, EWB can continue their work of a Slow Sand Filter (SSF) treatment system serving the village of Hanga, Tanzania.

Engineers Without Borders Tanzania Clean Water Project

April 16, 2013, KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Oregon Tech student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USA Oregon Tech) is a nonprofit organization committed to community-driven development programs through design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects. One of their most notable projects has been the Tanzania Clean Water Project. Now, with the ongoing support of Boeing University Relations Grants, they can continue their work of a Slow Sand Filter (SSF) treatment system serving the village of Hanga, Tanzania. This is the second grant the program has received from Boeing University Relations Grants, which will allow them to expand their program by $7,000 within the next 18 months.

Jordan Hunter, EWB-USA Oregon Tech student chapter president, “…was so excited when I heard the news because this grant will bring us so much closer to completing the water treatment project this year!”

Oregon Tech students first began work in Tanzania, Africa in 2009 and have returned each year to further their efforts to develop clean water sources for people in and around the village of Hanga. David Thaemert, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Oregon Tech, states, “In 2010, we installed three pumps, providing clean groundwater to 1500 residents, with the help of many supportive donors. This project was the first of many to provide the region with clean water, as we plan to return yearly and implement new projects.”

Student team members have found that this project provides an exciting “hands-on” introduction to engineering design, made compelling by the near-immediate construction of the designs and the enthusiastic reception of these water system improvements by local partners and residents in Hanga. Students are developing a greater appreciation for the effects of engineering efforts on people, particularly those in developing communities.

EWB-USA Oregon Tech depends on the donations of friends and family members, along with grants and support from outside organizations. Boeing works closely with selected colleges and universities to enhance undergraduate curricula, support continuing education of Boeing employees, recruit for internships and employment, and collaborate on research that benefits the long-term needs of their businesses. This outlook of community engagement is just one more way that Washington-based Boeing helps promote positive changes.

“We’re thrilled to receive this support from Boeing to provide clean water supplies in southwestern Tanzania, and are looking to build on this relationship by involving Boeing employees in our design and implementation efforts,” says Thaemert.

To conclude the project, an EWB-USA Oregon Tech travel team will return in the summer of 2013 to place the filter media, install the manifolds that will transport the water to and from the transmission line, and construct the roof; completion of this full slate of activities will depend strongly on the student chapter’s fundraising success. If you wish to support EWB-USA Oregon Tech in their mission to supply clean water to villages in Africa, visit www.ewb-usa.org, allocating your donation to the “Oregon Institute of Technology Chapter.” Your tax-deductible financial support is greatly appreciated by students at Oregon Tech and village residents in Hanga, Ruvuma, Mawa, Bombambili, and Mingi. If you have questions about this project, contact Dr. David Thaemert at david.thaemert@oit.edu.

Engineers Without Borders USA Vision and Mission
We are leaders. We stand 12,000 strong. With 350 projects in over 45 developing countries, Engineers Without Borders USA has changed the lives of millions of people around the world. Our VISION is a world in which the communities we serve have the capacity to sustainably meet their basic human needs, and that our members have enriched global perspectives through the innovative professional educational opportunities that the EWB-USA program provides. Our MEMBERSHIP consists of professionals and students from a variety of professions including engineering, public health, anthropology and business. Through its projects and programs, EWB-USA provides innovative professional educational opportunities that provide a global perspective. We are passionate people, with over 250 dedicated chapters, including university chapters on more than 180 campuses throughout the United States. Our MISSION -- EWB-USA supports community-driven development programs worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders.

About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven universities in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.

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