FPE News Story

Trouvé to Return to Burkina-Faso with EWB

Trouvé to Return to Burkina-Faso with EWB

Arnaud Trouvé translating EWB-UMCP team member Katya Kroupnik’s comments into French during a visit to a local high school.
Arnaud Trouvé translating EWB-UMCP team member Katya Kroupnik’s comments into French during a visit to a local high school.

Arnaud Trouvé, Associate Professor in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) is preparing for a second trip to Burkina Faso this summer as a Faculty Advisor for Engineers Without Borders (EWB).

EWB is a nonprofit organization that brings engineering skills and expertise available in developed countries to communities from poor countries that lack basic services (http://www.ewb-international.org and http://www.ewb-usa.org). EWB provides: (1) low-cost, customized, sustainable engineering solutions to community-driven development projects in disadvantaged places of the world through a network of volunteers including University students and professional engineers; (2) a unique international engineering experience to University students; and (3) an opportunity to bridge the gap between different cultures and to promote mutual understanding, respect, and a global perspective. Typical EWB projects focus on water, energy, sanitation, and include an assessment trip, a design phase and an implementation trip.

The EWB student chapter at the University of Maryland, College Park (http://www.eng.umd.edu/ewb/) is one of the largest student chapters of EWB-USA. EWB-UMCP has developed over the years a strong long-term program in the village of Dissin in the region of Ioba in Burkina Faso (http://www.eng.umd.edu/ewb/projects.html). Professor Trouvé already acted as Faculty Advisor during the previous EWB-UMCP trip to Dissin in January 2009. The team included 9 UMCP undergraduate students, 1 professional engineer and 2 faculty advisors, including, Professor Jungho Kim from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who has been acting as the EWB-UMCP-Burkina-Faso-project Faculty Advisor over the past few years and has now passed the baton to Professor Trouvé. Burkina-Faso is located in West Africa and is one of the poorest countries in the world. The purpose of the January EWB trip was to install solar-powered recharging systems for car batteries in 22 villages in the proximity of Dissin. These villages do not have electricity and car batteries are used by local residents to provide lighting in homes and public places (e.g., schools and literacy centers).

The next trip of EWB-UMCP in August will be an assessment trip aimed at evaluating the possible installation of solar panels to provide electrical power to lighting systems and refrigerators in the 5 or 6 medical centers that provide health services to the villages around Dissin. This assessment trip will be followed by a design project in the fall and an implementation trip in December 2009-January 2010.

EWB-UMCP is a cross-cutting engineering student association housed and supported by the Clark School of Engineering. Professor Trouvé is working to promote the association within the FPE Department. “The philosophy of EWB is very close to some of the main features of the FPE program, for instance the aspiration to apply best engineering practices to solve pressing societal needs and the related ambition to promote the role of engineers in society,” Trouvé says. “Some of the future EWB projects might also be combustion- or fire-related.”

For additional information, watch the following movie by EWB-UMCP team member Esmaeel Paryavi at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfCxhbGVqsk.

Contact information:

Prof. Arnaud Trouvé at 301-405-8209 or atrouve@umd.edu.

May 29, 2009

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