Engineers Without Borders Central Houston Professional Chapter is an officially recognized chapter of Engineers Without Borders – USA (EWB-USA)
EWB-USA was founded in 2002 by University of Colorado-Boulder Civil Engineering professor, Dr. Bernard Amadei in order to address some of the most prevalent challenges facing the developing world, including water purification and delivery, sanitation, transportation and infrastructure projects, and sustainable and renewable energy systems. What started as a backyard conversation with a landscaper from San Pablo, Belize resulted in a clean water system for the local community and sparked a global engineering movement that has directly impacted more than one million people to date.
The nonprofit started with 18 members and one university chapter. And today, EWB-USA is comprised of an expansive network of over 12,000 members and more than 225 university student and professional chapters engaged in over 400 active programs in 45 countries around the world.
Each EWB-USA chapter makes at least a five-year commitment to a partnering community. With the community’s input, the chapter designs and implements low-cost, small-scale, replicable and sustainable engineering solutions to problems identified by the community. This includes water, sanitation, and renewable energy. EWB-USA members train local community members and local NGO’s to successfully monitor and maintain the projects for long term sustainability.
EWB-USA believes that all people should have access to clean water, adequate sanitation, sustainable low-cost energy sources, and community structures like schools, clinics and bridges. We also believe that engineers have the knowledge and skills to be leaders in sustainable development.
EWB-USA is innovative in that it brings together students, academia, and professional practice to focus on a need in a developing community, rather than the need of a student, need of a university, or need of a client. It is through this focus on service, rather than self, that is catalyzing the engineering profession to work with developing communities.
While engineering is at the heart and soul of EWB-USA, every chapter takes a holistic approach to sustainable development by incorporating a variety of disciplines into their project teams. Chapters often incorporate the expertise of anthropologists, educators, statisticians, sociologists, health professionals and scientists to address both educational and technical aspects of the program.