Turning Road Blocks into Successes: Solving ...

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Mar 30, 2008 - BP Solar. • Grundfos Pumps Corporation. • Omega Engineering Inc. Donors. • Cockrell School of Engineering. • Donor Advised Fund of Rotary.

Engineers Without Borders-USA 2008 International Conference

Turning Road Blocks into Successes Christopher Lombardo, Adrienne O’Neill, and Paula Kulis Engineers Without Borders International Conference 2008 The University of Texas at Austin March 30, 2008

“Building a better world, one community at a time”

Jaboncillos Chicos, Mexico • UT’s First project – Water Supply – Started Spring 2006 – Design completed Dec 2006 – Had anticipated completion Mar 2007 – Currently midimplementation

Coahuila, Mexico

The Community • 50 people/ 8 families • 10 occupied houses • 3 hour drive to the city

• Support themselves through Candelilla Wax & Ranching

Definition of Problem Physical Manifestation • Water • Electricity – High voltage lines

• Sanitation • Money • Little is accomplished when we aren’t there

True Problem • Political power • Access • Money • Higher Education • Favors to trade • Community • Efficacy

The “true problems” have led to our setbacks

January 2008 Movie

Click to play

Setbacks • Land Rights • Community Unity and Efficacy – What happens during our absence – Internal community conflict

• Customs – Paperwork and bribes

• Money!!! – Sending money to Mexico – Every university and chapter is different

• Working within different cultures – Internal group conflict

Land Rights, Access & Favors Setbacks are outside community control Where will we get water? • Pre-existing well – Original plan – Government influence

• New well – Community – EWB-UT

Community Unity and Efficacy Setbacks within community control • Nothing is accomplished in our absence – Cannot afford time/money investment – Facing not just your track record, but generations of track records

• Lack of Unity and Efficacy – Our project promotes their efficacy

Lessons Learned • Flexible design – Conditions will be different than designed for

• Total package – What is best for the community NOT what is best for implementing our project

• What you accomplish – Success isn’t measured by taking things off your to do list – ¡Se va!

• You are a catalyst – Just by being there, you get things done

• Don’t promise anything – It’s not done until it’s done

Summary • Our goal is to EMPOWER the community – Help them come together and change their lives – This addresses the “true problem” as well as the physical problem

• Over and over again, they have shown they are WAY more capable than us at addressing the physical manifestations

Support Companies • BP Solar • Grundfos Pumps Corporation • Omega Engineering Inc.

Donors • Cockrell School of Engineering • Donor Advised Fund of Rotary District 5840 • Rotary Sunrise Club - San Angelo, TX

NGOs • Christobal Leland • Carlos Melick • Carlos Servine


Contact Information • Christopher Lombardo – President, Former Mexico Project Lead – Electrical Engineering PhD Student – [email protected]

• Adrienne O’Neill – Cockrell School of Engineering Liaison – Senior, Civil Engineering and Religious Studies – [email protected]

• http://www.engr.utexas.edu/ewb