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K-State Today

October 22, 2014



Students attend Engineers Without Borders conference in Panama

By Mary Rankin

Jennifer Sommerfeld and Noura Saadi

Civil engineering seniors Jennifer Sommerfeld and Noura Saadi attended the American Society of Civil Engineers/Engineers Without Borders Design Global Engineer conference and workshop Oct. 4-10 in Panama City, Panama.

Workshop classes designed to prepare students to better understand the Engineers Without Borders process in project design and implementation in developing communities began on Oct. 4. Topics included water treatment; water supply and distribution; water, sanitation and hygiene; energy and the Bridges to Prosperity program.

The K-State contingent went on to attend various presentations at the conference, a part of which was touring the Panama Canal and visiting the village of La Conga to see firsthand the positive effects construction of a bridge — a project of Bridges to Prosperity — had brought to the community. Another stop was Kuna Nega, where the group participated in monitoring the water system there.

"This was an incredible opportunity for these students to gain an understanding of the impact engineering can have on the lives of people around the world," said Bobb Stokes, professor and department head of civil engineering. "Engineers Without Borders is a remarkable organization and I'm so pleased to see the American Society of Civil Engineers combining resources with them in this type of undertaking."