Marquette chapter of Engineers Without Borders earns national award for Guatemala water project

engineers without borders, Guatemala

Marquette’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-MU) earned the 2023 Engineering Education Award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) for the student organization’s Water Distribution System project in El Tesoro, Guatemala. The award, which carries a $25,000 prize, recognizes programs that promote interaction and collaboration between engineering students and licensed professionals.

Beginning in 2021, the project focused on designing and implementing a sustainable water distribution system that would provide 120 households in El Tesoro access to clean water in their homes for the first time. Undergraduate students worked alongside faculty and licensed professional engineers from the United States and Guatemala at every stage to ensure a successful system. Additional support from Rotary International and chapters in the U.S. and Guatemala helped make the project possible.

To earn the NCEEES award, student leaders from EWB-MU created an abstract, display board and project description that outlines the work and multidisciplinary elements; collaboration with faculty and licensed professional engineers; considerations to protect health, safety, and welfare of the public; and the knowledge or skills gained. All of the team’s submission materials are available online as well as a Q&A about the experience.

Funds from the award will be used to support ongoing efforts by EWB-MU in Guatemala, including its latest work to develop a water treatment and distribution system in Las Cruces Pachilip. Marquette students were onsite in Guatemala as recently as last week to work on their new project as well as review previous work in El Tesoro as part of their commitment to ensure a successful implementation.

The Marquette chapter of Engineers Without Borders was established in 2005 and has completed over 10 student-led projects to serve communities in South America. As part of Engineers Without Borders USA, Marquette’s chapter shares in the nationwide mission to “support community-driven development programs worldwide through partnerships that design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences that enrich global perspectives and create responsible leaders.”

Current and future Marquette students are encouraged to get involved with EWB-MU on campus, and friends of Marquette can support the program by emailing Dr. Mark Federle.