This month sees the launch of a new society aimed at reducing poverty in the Third World not through campaigning, wearing white wrist-bands or listening to Coldplay (although this is fun), but by a less glamorous means: engineering. Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Nottingham is a branch of EWB UK, whose mission is to facilitate human development through engineering – by means of placements, presentations and research in UK universities.
Last summer, two University of Nottingham students worked on placements in the Third World aimed at development. Graduate Sacha Grodzinski worked on eco-stoves in Nepal, while EWB Nottingham President Aran Eales tackled plastic recycling and micro-hydro power in Tsunami-recovering Sri-Lanka. Both were working to help local communities, using the skills gained from their degrees in mechanical engineering. The aim of the Nottingham Branch is to increase awareness of poverty in the Third World, and promote engineering methods that combat it, as well as looking into sustainability and conservation.
Along with pushing for students to take part in the summer placements run by EWB-UK (which are launched at the end of this month), activities this year will include a trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, the design of a wind turbine using a car alternator, and various talks and presentations about engineering in developing countries. Eales says, “It’s rewarding to be able to use what you learn at Uni in the Third World and realise that you can make a difference – even if it is small.” Catch them at Refreshers Fayre, or check out www.ewbnotts.co.uk for more info.