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Engineers Without Borders (EWB)

  • Website: http://epics.ecn.purdue.edu/ewb
  • Contact Information: epics-ewb@ecn.purdue.edu
  • Description: EWB currently has 3 design teams: biogas, water, and future directions. The biogas team is in the implementation phase of their project. The goal of the biogas project is to implement a biogas digester at a local vocational school in Nakyenyi. The biogas digester will capture the methane produced by manure from cows at the school and pipes it to the kitchen, where it will be used as fuel. The motivation behind implementing this technology at the school is that there is mass deforestation occurring in Uganda, and the current source of cooking fuel at the school is firewood. The ultimate goal is to spread biogas digesters throughout the community of Nakyenyi, but currently the team’s focus is solely on building a successful digester at the school. The water team is also working in Nakyenyi. While on a biogas assessment trip, the team noticed how polluted and inconvenient the main water source for the school and the community is, and a design team was created to assess the feasibility of beginning a project to help improve water access and cleanliness. The main goal of the water team this semester is to make a go/no go decision on whether to carry out the water project in the community. The future directions team is working with the EWB chapter to implement standard procedures for the EWB process. They recently finished a decision matrix to aid in selecting project partners, and they are currently working on created a project process plan for the assessment phase of the EWB project process, with the overall goal to continue in future semesters until all phases of the EWB process (assessment, implementation, and monitoring) have a standard process to follow.
  • Partners: Our biogas team is partnered with a vocational school in Nakyenyi, Uganda, run by the NGO Busoda. The water team is partnered with the community of Nakyenyi; however, one of the major concerns for that project moving forward is that there is not a clear understanding of who in the community has ownership of the project.
  • Mission: Since EWB is part of a national organization, our mission matches that of EWB national, which was outlined previously.
  • Delivered: The only project delivered by this team thus far is the program selection decision matrix, which was delivered last semester. However, the biogas team will be delivering their project this summer.
  • Technologies The major technologies being used for this project are CAD, for 3D drawings of the biogas digester, and NVivo, for the water team to analyze the field notes taken while in-country to aid in making a go/no go decision.
  • Area: Environmental and International Development
  • Fall 2017 Division: 45
  • Fall 2017 Schedule: Mondays 6:00 - 7:50 pm