Engineering Without Borders Birmingham – July 2014 Update

By David Streather, EWB President

The 2013/2014 academic year has been a great and busy one for Engineers Without Borders and this is mainly due to the efforts of our former President, Agota Mockute. She’s been the heartbeat of EWB for the last year and more and it would seem weird to summarise the year without first thanking one of the people responsible!

Energized with our largest committee to date and the extra buzz that this provided we had our most successful September recruitment period ever which saw waves of new volunteers come to see what we had to offer. It was a great start and our overall increase in attendance has been really wonderful to see. Throughout the year EWB have been busy running hands-on workshops, thought-provoking TED talk viewings and external talks to try and get people involved in the world of EWB and international development. Highlights included the team of us that built a rope and washer water pump, a TED Talk about poo and a visit from former president Pip Jefferis. The main highlight though has to be our two termly charity band nights ‘Pear Jam’. EWB hold this event every term and consistently raises over £250 for a charity of our choice. We were also lucky enough to have Pear Jam win event of the year at the EPS societies’ awards. It’s an event we’re immensely proud of and really enjoy doing. Look out for the next one!

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The major change this year has been the creation of the Cameroon Catalyst project. With origins in Southampton, Cameroon Catalyst is an organisation set up to provide engineering support and aid to the village of Bambouti in Cameroon. They approached EWB Birmingham to set up a second branch this time last year and since then we’ve been working away. It’s been a difficult year but thanks to a group of keen, driven and active engineers we’ve made some real progress. Role on next year!

The star of this year, however, has been outreach. Outreach at Birmingham two years ago was almost non-existent but two years of hard work and serious networking have made it a major part of EWB Birmingham. Outreach coordinators Emma Russell, Jake Brooks and Rozh Al-Jarrah have been doing superb work over the last year in particular and we’ve now got a serious number of STEM Ambassadors going into schools on a regular basis. One event in particular saw a group of 7 volunteers go into a school to deliver a ‘Power for the World’ workshop on the World’s energy demands. With another year like this one we should continue to make a serious impact on childrens’ lives all over Birmingham and it’s something we’re all very, very proud of.

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Ultimately, it’s been a terrific year. I’d like to thank everyone involved in last year’s committee and everyone who helped us grow into what we are today. EWB Birmingham is a growing force and with a committee just as hungry for success we’re getting ready to do it all over again.

For more information please visit us online! Get involved!