EWB-Cornell's Key Values
Our international and domestic projects reflect our diverse experiences
The EWB team works to understand each other and the people we work with
We work closely with the Cornell engineering community and our project communities
Our projects incorporate our rigorous engineering training
Engineers Without Borders - Cornell is a group of passionate and highly motivated students who aim to create long-lasting solutions to problems in international communities. Members are given the opportunity to nurture their creative and technical expertise by designing and implementing sustainable engineering projects. Through collaboration with communities in developing countries around the world, our members are exposed to diverse cultures while gaining academic experience outside of the classroom environment.
Our growing team of 34 dedicated students includes undergraduate and graduate students from several of Cornell’s colleges including the College of Engineering, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Our network also extends beyond Cornell’s campus to over 250 EWB chapters.
Since our founding in 2011, we have completed two international projects in Calcha, Bolivia, and are in progress towards implementing a third in Sunuka, Tanzania. Additionally, we have worked with nearby organizations to help those in our community in need.
Originally planning to work in Calcha on an irrigation system, our team quickly identified a need for a way to connect people's homes to their crops in the wet season, during our preliminary assessment trip there. After a second trip in 2015 to collect more data to refine our plans, eight of our members spent eight weeks in the summer of 2016 implementing our design for a 50-meter supension bridge there. The following summer, we improved irrigation channels there in a second implementation trip. Finally, we returned in 2018 for a monitoring trip to ensure our projects remain long-lasting solutions to the problems identified within the community.
Recently, we have begun work with a community in Sunuka, Tanzania. Here, we are working on designs to irrigate large areas of farmland in the dry season, which are uphill from main water sources. During our two assessments here since 2018, we have connected with the community to realize their needs and employed cutting-edge technology such as drone surveying. We anticipate creating a system using a renewable source of power to pump water up to irrigation channels within the farmlands.
Since the Sunuka, Tanzania irrigation project’s conception in February 2018, we have travelled on two assessment trips to establish our relationship with the Sunuka community and retrieve the necessary irrigation data. Keeping in mind social, structural and economic feasibility our team evaluated potential water sources and irrigation distribution techniques, and has been working to finalize system plans. With implementation tentatively scheduled for summer 2021, our designs are currently being submitted for community approval and for additional analysis by irrigation experts. In the meantime, our team is working to maintain community relations and develop a universal irrigation system toolbox.
The Business subteam is an interdisciplinary group which focuses on both the finances and language modeling within EWB Cornell. In terms of the finances, the team is responsible for raising funds for both the international and domestic projects through fundraising, sponsorship, and events. In our new project, the team is designing a text to image processor to streamline communication for the Tanzania subteam's irrigation system installation. In using natural language processing and machine learning techniques, the team is executing the design of a rule and constraint based algorithm which inputs instructional text and outputs corresponding image sequences.
Our Software Development team is partnering with a local non-profit to build a sustainability-based app compatible with both iOS and Android. The app hopes to encourage the practice of carbon-offsetting, reducing emissions of CO2 in order to compensate for CO2 emissions made elsewhere. Our team hopes that our project will impact communities both locally and beyond the Ithaca area, ultimately having a lasting impact by making carbon-offsetting more accessible and encouraging sustainable practices.
Outbreaks of plant diseases, often left undetected, can be devastating for a local economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. To aid farmers, Engineers Without Borders at Cornell is building an airborne drone and a ground rover to assess large plots of crop fields real time. The drone will provide a large aerial assessment of overall health which will then help the rover survey flagged parts for diseases underneath the canopy.
As homelessness is rampant within Tompkins county and across the country, the idea sparked our talented group of engineers from a multitude of backgrounds and majors to begin designing a tiny home that can be transported by car, as known as the EPOD. This independence allows for individuals to travel with their homes, find stable work, have basic utilities, and save money up for a future home or apartment. As these homes are temporary for individuals, it will allow the homeless individual to jumpstart their lives for the better. We are currently engineering the tiny home, assessing cost, and establishing construction documents for future build!
We are so proud of the work that we do, and it really takes a village to achieve everything we have to this point. As a student-run project team, we rely on external resources to fund our projects. We are particularly indebted to our generous donors for making our trips and implementations possible, which benefit communities around the world. Your gift contributes towards helping our team build a sustainable solution to impact over 200 lives, bringing global engineering issues to the forefront of social consciousness, and providing EWB members with life-altering, international experiences. If you are interested in the sponsorship process, feel free to download our sponsorship packet and email us with any inquiries.
Get in touch with our team!
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY