BOZEMAN – Montana State University will host the Rocky Mountain
regional meeting of Engineers Without Borders Oct. 4-6, giving western
chapters a place to discuss their collective efforts working with
international communities and implementing sustainable engineering
The three-day conference for EWB student and professional members
will feature hands-on sessions, lectures and social events.
“The conference is a chance for us to come together and find out what
other chapters are doing and what their successes have been, as well
as their failures,” said Cassidy Fisher, a junior mechanical engineering
major and coordinator of the October conference. “And of course, we’re
really excited to be representing MSU and showing off what EWB-MSU
has accomplished.”
Each summer since 2004, the MSU chapter of EWB has worked with the
community in the Khwisero District of Kenya to implement clean water
and sanitation projects. This summer, 21 students in four rotations
spent six weeks working there while they completed all of their
projects, something Fisher said doesn’t always happen.
In 2011, EWB was honored when MSU received the prestigious C. Peter
Magrath University Community Engagement Award from the
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, beating out some of
the largest universities in the nation.
With its commitment to implement clean water and sanitation systems
at the 61 schools in Khwisero over a period that could last decades,
MSU’s EWB is recognized as one of the most ambitious and successful
student-led organizations in the school’s history. Its members include
approximately 40 students representing every college in the university.
Over the past 10 years, more than 100 MSU students have traveled to
Khwisero, in western Kenya, where they have built 10 deep-water wells
and 12 composting latrines in an effort to decrease the rate of
waterborne illnesses. EWB-MSU has also contributed to a biogas-capturing and energy-producing latrine, a system for catching
rainwater, as well as the first phase of a water pipeline.
“We’re really proud of the pipeline, because the community has
completed the second two phases entirely on their own,” said chapter
president Bronwyn Rolph, a senior majoring in civil engineering.
While work on the ground in Kenya is the point, Rolph noted that
fundraising is just as critical to the group’s success as its approach to
engineering and carrying out projects in Khwisero. The organization’s
next fundraiser is the Clean Water for Kenya Jubilee, set for Oct. 26, at
the GranTree Inn in Bozeman. Every spring, EWB hosts Junk 2 Funk, a
recycled fashion show.
For more information, email