|Home | Past PEGGs | Ad Rates | Back to October Index | Contact|
U of A Forms Chapter
National Organization Created Less Than Two Years Ago to Bring Basic Technology to Developing Countries
Over the past two months, a handful of students at the University of Alberta have started an Engineers Without Borders chapter. Modeled after the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders, its mission is to help developing nations by implementing basic technologies that Canadians often take for granted.
"There are two parts of the organization," explains Chatelle Leidl, the U of A chapter president. "Each university is mandated to undertake a research project involving a technology that can be implemented in developing countries. At the national level, there is an international work program where students and professionals can work with a non-government organizations in the third world to aid in development."
The national organization is still in its infancy, having formed in January 2000. It was started in Waterloo by two engineering students who financed some of the first projects out of their own money. Since then, it has grown to more than 1,000 members in 22 chapters across Canada. Engineers Without Border is already receiving international recognition. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, director of the UN's Human Development Report, has agreed to sit on the national board of directors.
Currently, there are no students from the University of Alberta working abroad, however there have been a few from other universities. Recently a 19-year-old Waterloo engineering student spent four months in India developing a website that links 10,000 non-profit aid groups.
Calgary Professor Shines a Light
Dr. Irvine-Halliday recently attended a University of Alberta Engineers Without Borders' meeting as a guest speaker. Ms Leidl assures that there will be many more events in the months to come such as guest speakers and movie nights.
Ms Leidl is a fifth-year environmental engineering student who started
the group at the U of A. "I have always wanted to do one of my co-op
terms abroad, but there were no organizations that offered a work program
in a developing country." After talking to the national organization
over the summer, she started the club.
"Over the next year we will be developing out contacts with non-government
organizations, companies, academics and individuals," says Ms Liedl.
"The success of the group depends on finding professionals who have
worked internationally and are willing to get involved."
(Editor's Note: A feature on Engineers Without Borders will appear in next month's PEGG.)
Technical Societies Mixer
This fall's APEGGA technical societies mixer at the U of A was well attended
by 250 students and 35 professionals. The event was held in the Students'
union building in September. This semi-annual event gives students a chance
to network with professional engineers, geologists and geophysicists.
Brian Martin is a fifth-year electrical engineering co-op student. He
can be reached at email@example.com.
|Home | Past PEGGs | Contact | Ad Rates | Back to October Index|