Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) is a non-profit humanitarian organization that partners with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life. This partnership involves training internationally responsible engineers, while simultaneously implementing sustainable engineering projects in developing communities. The activities of EWB-USA range from the construction of sustainable systems that developing communities can own and operate without external assistance, to empowering such communities by enhancing local, technical, managerial, and entrepreneurial skills. These projects are initiated by, and completed with, contributions from the host community working with our project teams.
EWB-USA is a non-profit 501(c) (3) tax exempt corporation created under the laws of the State of Colorado, USA. EWB-USA was created in Fall 2000, and is also a member of the Engineers Without Borders-International network.
The Princeton University chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-PU) was founded in 2004 by Sebastien Douville ’06 and Nathan Lowery ’06. Over the past ten years, EWB-PU has enabled Princeton students to apply their education in the fields of international development and technology. EWB-PU’s first project was a chapter-initiated Sanitation Facility Upgrade in Huamanzaña, Peru. After concluding the program in Huamanzaña, three additional projects in the area were also completed: a solar power system (2006), a smokeless biomass stove project (2007-08), and an improved water distribution system (2009). The program was followed by one in Samne, Peru that provided potable water to every household in La Pitajaya via a gravity-fed pipeline (2010-2015).
In addition to the Huamanzaña and Samne projects, EWB Princeton has also completed a program in Ashaiman, Ghana. This project, which focused on designing and constructing the Ghana School Library, was completed in summer of 2012. Upon completion, the library was stocked with over 7,000 books and 37 One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) computers. A variety of educational programs for community members were also implemented.
Currently, EWB-PU has three ongoing programs: in Kuria West, Kenya (opened in 2013); in Dominican Republic (opened in 2016); and in Pusunchás, Peru (opened in 2016). Check out their pages on this website for more information on the great work they are doing.
The Ghana and Kenya projects were designated as an EWB-USA Premier Project in 2013 and 2014 respectively. EWB-PU subsequently received the EWB-USA Premier Chapter award in 2015.
In addition to its international projects, EWB-PU also organizes and runs the Sustainable Engineering and Development Scholars (SEADS) program for students on campus. This program, launched in 2010, is dedicated to prompting critical discussions that gives students a holistic and educated background in sustainable development.
Over the past ten years, EWB-PU has grown from 10 members in 2004 to over 100 active members in 2016. This makes EWB-PU one of the largest active student groups on Princeton’s campus, with a growing alumni base as students graduate and enter the workforce as engineers, anthropologists, and entrepreneurs.
EWB-PU provides educational opportunities in international development through EWB-USA approved engineering projects. The chapter also upholds the University’s core ideas of academic pragmatism, engaged internationalism, and educational service. Ultimately, EWB-PU engages graduate and undergraduate students, as well as faculty members, who are seeking to learn about international development through the fields of anthropology, language, history, and cultural studies.