Bernard Amadei: Engineering with heart for world’s poor

Engineers without Borders works to build things such as systems to collect rainwater and photovoltaic solar cells to provide power in health clinics.

Bernard Amadei is a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the founder of Engineers Without Borders. Since the year 2000, this organization has grown to include over 8,000 professional and student engineers serving the world’s poor in over 43 countries.

Bernard Amadei: It’s a compassionate type of engineering, engineering with heart. We’re not just trying to provide technical solutions to the community, but we’re also providing hope to the community, we are also providing ways for the community to get back on its feet. The technology has to be sustainable. And ultimately, the technology has to be a way for the community to get out of poverty. A way to provide jobs and opportunities for the community.

Engineers Without Borders works to build things such as systems to collect rainwater and photovoltaic solar cells to provide power in health clinics.

Bernard Amadei: I think in a time we’re going to see a change in the way we are doing engineering, from engineering that is not too good for the planet, to an engineering that is good for the planet. And it’s a new mindset. And that mindset, I think, is going to come from the youth. I think the youth today is much more aware of the challenges of the planet. And I think the youth today, under the right type of guidance will make the change in the engineering profession.

Note: the image at the top of this post shows people digging the foundation for a bridge in the small village of Ure e Shtrentje, in northern Albania. The old bridge was destroyed by a river surge. The people at AlbaniaBridge.com are trying to raise money to rebuild the bridge with the help of an expert engineer. Photo taken by Artan Kapexhiu, Logistician, Albania, provided courtesy of Christian Guthier.

Jorge Salazar