UTSA Engineers Without Borders to support rebuilding efforts in Peru

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UTSA Engineers Without Borders project in Peru

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(June 6, 2012) -- This summer, the UTSA student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-UTSA) will take its third trip to the earthquake stricken area of Viña Vieja, Peru, to support its ongoing effort to provide access to clean drinking water for those living in the region. The primary goal of the Viña Vieja water project is to facilitate the construction of a reliable, locally sourced water system owned and operated by the residents.

The EWB-UTSA conducted an assessment trip last spring and established the main objectives of the project. Beyond the construction and operation of a universal water system for the 110 families in the community, EWB-UTSA will assist with the election of a water system committee and educate the residents so they are able to sustain the work completed by the EWB-UTSA.

"Through the assessment trip, we definitely saw the need for our help in improving the overall quality of life for the people of Viña Vieja," said Steven Byers, UTSA civil engineering major and EWB-UTSA design lead. "We have been lucky enough to have support of the Texas Partners of the Americas, Peru Partners of the Americas and the UT Health Science Center San Antonio in our efforts."

The EWB-UTSA chapter was established in 2007 and has student members from multiple disciplines including mechanical and civil engineering, finance and geology. Together with their faculty adviser Heather Shipley, a UTSA assistant professor in the College of Engineering, and professional mentors John Joseph and Ann Marie Spexet, the members are involved in design, fundraising and outreach.

"Through the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects, our students are making a significant impact on an entire community," said Shipley. "At UTSA, we make a point of encouraging our students to take their knowledge beyond the classroom and apply it for the betterment of communities -- whether it be at a local, national or international level.

For more information on how to support the group's mission, visit the UTSA Engineers Without Borders website.