VANCOUVER – Instead of painting houses or serving food, University of British Columbia engineering students Nick Jimenez and Troy Barrie spent their summer vacation working to end poverty in rural Africa. Nick and Troy returned to Vancouver at the beginning of this month and shared lessons learned with fellow members of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Both students are active members of EWB at UBC and were selected to go to Zambia and Ghana, respectively, for a four-month internship.
International project management and engineering company AMEC sponsored Nick’s placement overseas. “Engineers Without Borders has the ability to transform students into superior engineers that have a socially responsible view on the needs of people, communities and projects,” said Bob Stanlake, a general manager at AMEC. “We at AMEC are proud of Nick, Troy and the UBC Chapter of Engineers Without Borders for helping others while learning valuable lessons that will accelerate their careers.”
What makes EWB placements different is community integration. Nick lived with a Zambian woman and her family, pumped and carried his own water and lived on less than $5 a day. He worked with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture developing solutions to Zambia’s ever-present irrigation problems.
Troy traveled in Ghana, finding suitable communities for the Multifunctional Platform (MFP), a rural energy system that operates a variety of essential machinery. He spent time learning the many different strategies and techniques necessary to interact within a community.
Whether reducing the time to complete daily chores, allowing children to go to school, or designing dams to provide irrigation for larger crop yields, these two young engineers have provided local people the tools and skills to better their lives.
John Kageorge is AMEC’s communications manager for Alberta and British Columbia. He may be reached at 604-617-4745 or email@example.com.