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Drexel Engineers Without Borders Hosts Local Conference

June 11, 2014

Drexel Engineers Without Borders hosted a local conference on May 31, 2014. The event attracted students from EWB chapters including Drexel University, Rutgers University, Lehigh University, Rowan University, Temple University, and the Philadelphia Professional Chapter. The Eastern PA EWB State representative, Elsy Escobar, was also in attendance.

Escobar spoke with the chapters about how her role is to serve as the liason between the national organization, EWB-USA, and every chapter. Each chapter presented their respective projects and the difficulties they have overcome. Through these discussions, other chapters gained knowledge into how to approach a certain problem they too may be facing. 

“I feel the conference was a success because of the positive feedback we received as well as the information Drexel’s chapter learned from the others,” Josh Weinstein, the President of Drexel EWB, wrote in a post-conference email.

“We discussed the importance of a diverse group of members from engineers to business majors to designers to health service individuals. Everyone has a different approach to a problem and anyone can provide help to an organization such as Engineers Without Borders,” Weinstein continued. 

The Philadelphia Professional Chapter presented their projects and what it is like to continue EWB’s efforts after college, providing advice on how to get involved and meet professionals in the area.

There was a viewing of a TED Talk by Mark Talesnik, who discussed the importance of global engineers as opposed to the conventional engineers who leave college with little more than a degree. A global engineer is one with “social conscience, ‘hands on’ abilities, and leadership skills,” according to Talesnik. He went on to explain that these qualities can be easily obtained through working with EWB and by developing solutions for those in need. These activities allow global engineers to return and help in their local communities.

“This TED Talk brought on the discussion of classical teaching in universities and how alternate learning experiences could be beneficial. We also discussed with students who have traveled abroad with EWB, how their perspective on their communities have changed. It is amazing how one’s thoughts and motivations change when given the opportunity to see life from a different perspective,” according to Weinstein.

Drexel Engineers Without Borders is planning on doing an annual conference like this one and hopes to make it even better in the upcoming years. 

Engineers Without Borders is an international humanitarian engineering group that serves our global neighbors in the developing world; those who need it most. Drexel EWB’s current project is the Miramar Water Project in El Salvador.

“It is very special to a number of great people here on campus. We have some very dedicated students willing to do whatever it takes to help those in need. Whether it be rebuilding Hurricane Sandy victims’ homes on the weekends or bringing clean water to a small village in El Salvador, we are always looking for more opportunities to volunteer,” Weinstein wrote. 

For more information about Drexel EWB, click here