Fall 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the first newsletter of the 2022-23 school year!

We just had a great summer of project work and building relationships that you’ll get to read about more in project updates below. One exciting highlight was the opportunity to meet the new CEO of EWB-USA, Boris Martin, along with the UMN-Duluth and MN Professional Chapters as he made his way to EWB-USA HQ in Colorado!! We are looking forward to welcoming new folks into our team and preparing for the next stages of project work from documentation to education to travel!

Team Updates

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Team Updates

Project Updates


Over the summer, a few students were able to travel to Guatemala for the assessment of our project in Chi Chokon, the implementation of our project in Chirijuyu, and the check-in with our past project in Paraxaj. Overall, the team had a great experience meeting the leaders of this community and getting hands-on experience on all aspects of an engineering project. During this trip, much development was made to implement the water distribution system in Chirijuyu and after the trip, the project is very close to completion. In Chi Chokon, students were able to learn from professional engineers how to assess the feasibility of a project and data collection practices. They were also able to meet with members of the community to discuss the state of the current water distribution system and their needs when it comes to designing and implementing a new one.

East Africa

The East Africa group has worked over the summer to get started on and submit the team application required to apply to a new project in Malawi. We are planning on partnering with FreshWater Project International (FPI) to volunteer our ingenuity and passion towards helping St. Pius Primary School in the Magomero district to establish access to clean water and hygienic latrines. Over the course of 18 months, we aim to assess the schools current situation, brainstorm potential solutions, refine our ideas and consult with professionals about our solutions, and implement these solutions.

We are also finalizing the hand-over process for our project in Filakit, Ethiopia, to an engineering non-profit in Ethiopia that will finish the water distribution project that started being implemented in 2019. 


This past summer the Local Project group partnered with the Urban Farm & Garden Alliance & Ujaama Place to work on adding improvements to the Victoria Community Garden in the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul. Components of the project worked on this summer included: a rainwater catchment system, new benches, two wheelchair accessible garden boxes constructed with cedar and corrugated metal, and a permeable and level clover seeded path. The rainwater catchment system that was designed collects water from 576 ft2 of roofing, stores it in 375 gallon containers. From there, a pump is used with hoses to give the right water pressure! In the coming months, we will be constructing a pergola sitting area that we’ve been working on designing for the past year.

Over the past year, in collaboration with a section of the EWB Minnesota professional chapter, improvements to the community space of the  Division of Indian Work through the design of a composting system, a rainwater catchment system and a solar collection system. This upcoming year we are going to continue developing relationships with UFGA and other local community organizations to continue community garden projects. 

Marketing Updates

Fundraising Update

Get ready for a school year full of Fundraising! This year, EWB has several different project groups that will need some form of fundraising. We will be funding projects in Chi Chokon in Guatemala, St. Pious in Malawi, and even a project locally, here in St. Paul! Between these 3 projects, we will be working on water sourcing/distribution, water quality, sanitation and community garden projects! 

There are a lot of opportunities to get involved in funding our projects for the next year. Marketing meetings will be held every Thursday from 5:30 to 7:00 PM in Armory 202. Marketing Meetings consist of Fundraising and Creative work!  

At those meetings, if interested in working on Fundraising, there will be opportunities to learn more about all of the projects we are working on this upcoming year. Additionally, you can learn more about grant writing and crowdfunding campaigns, and get involved in spreading the word about the work we are doing to those outside of our chapter! This semester there are several events Fundraising is a part of, including the Fall Donor Report, Give to the Max Day and several grants to apply for!

The creative team is also a part of the marketing team, and is working closely with the fundraising team throughout the year to assist with any graphics needed for grant writing and crowdfunding as well as spreading the word about our chapter through social media. As we get back into the school year we’ll be starting to work on designing this year’s merchandise, so keep an eye out for updates on that if you’re interested on our social media!

CCC Update

The Community Context Committee is working on new content for presentations this fall. A primary topic is power dynamics between “skilled” and “unskilled” workers. What are the connotations of these labels? How do they impact project partnerships and trust? We are creating presentations as introductions to Malawian and Guatemalan history and current affairs. We are also collaborating with EWB-USA to build cultural competency discussions into project lead training and travel documentation. We look forward to your conversations this semester!

Member Highlights

Student Highlight – Andy Thai

Andy Thai is a junior mechanical engineering student this year and has been involved with Engineers Without Borders for two years. As a freshman he worked with the pipe bridge subgroup in the East Africa project, as well as helped with implementation of multiple projects within the Peace Garden. Over the last school year he led the water distribution subgroup to design and implement a gutter system and IBC tote in the Victoria garden. Working with Engineers Without Borders helped him to get an internship at Boston Scientific this past spring and summer and he’s excited to meet new EWB members this fall. Thank you for your hard work Andy!

Mentor Highlight – Laura Amundson

Laura Amundson is a civil engineer with specialties in bridge and structure design and has been a mentor with the Guatemala project since 2018. Over the past few years, Laura has most enjoyed working with EWB students to bring designs to life. Some of her favorite projects include working with pipelines, tap stand, garden features, and even using a drone to capture aerial photos of the Victoria garden! Outside of EWB, Laura enjoys cooking and outdoor activities like camping, hiking, biking, and traveling. Laura has traveled with EWB many times with the professional chapter and traveled with our Guatemala project this past spring (pictured above). Laura’s structural expertise has been crucial to the success of our projects in the Peace Garden, Guatemala Project, and Victoria Garden. Thank you Laura for your guidance and mentorship!