Bernard Amadei, a civil engineering professor who founded the international humanitarian organization Engineers Without Borders-USA, will speak at UCF Monday, Oct. 3.

All are welcome to attend Amadei’s speech, “Engineering for the Developing World: From Crisis to Development,” from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 101 of the Harris Engineering Center on UCF’s main campus.

The Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering within UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is the event sponsor.

Amadei, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, believes that engineers must hold the public welfare above any other responsibility. His message and mission have inspired 12,000 people – many of whom are not engineers – to join EWB-USA since 2002. With 225 chapters, including one at UCF, the organization has provided aid in 41 developing countries, benefitting more than 600,000 people.

EWB-USA collaborates with local partners in developingcountries to design and implement sustainable engineering projects to enable residents to meet their basic human needs. Many of EWB’s projects involve improving local residents’ access to clean water.

Engineers Without Borders at UCF

UCF’s chapter of EWB-USA has a five-year commitment to provide ongoing assistance to the 300 villagers of Mare Brignol in southernHaiti.

“Their overwhelming need is for clean water,” said Andrew Ivey, chapter president and an environmental engineering major. The need became more urgent when a cholera epidemic caused by contaminated drinking water spread through the country after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010.

But EWB-USA is not a relief organization, Ivey noted. In fact, UCF’s chapter began assisting Mare Brignol in 2008, two years before the quake.

“Engineers Without Borders implements long-term, sustainable solutions to problems, and empowers local residents to help themselves,” Ivey said.

The chapter’s mission is to help people in the developing world make long-term improvements in their living conditions while transforming members into service-minded, internationally aware leaders with real-world experience.

During the chapter’s most recent trips to Haiti in May, UCF students worked with local Haitian businesses and laborers to purchase materials and install six cisterns (outdoor clay vessels that collect and store up to 800 gallons of rainwater) and 34 bio-sand filtration systems (boxes of special sand that remove disease-causing microbes, such as e-coli, from the water). The bio-sand filters require no power source or chemicals.

All at UCF are welcome to join Engineers Without Borders. The majority of the organization’s work is non-engineering related. Opportunities exist to raise money, do research, plan logistics, write grant proposals, contribute to group decisions, and much more.

“Engineering projects fail without the valuable contributions from people in other disciplines,” said Kaveh Madani, assistant professor of environmental engineering and the chapter’s faculty advisor. “We are all members of the same society and an international family.”

Read more about the work in Haiti by UCF’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders. 

Hear a radio interview featuring chapter members produced by WMFE-FM.