Duke Engineers for International Development (DEID)
- Description: I participated in a Tag-Along project with Rutgers University in partnership with Bridges to Prosperity and the Palmar Pampa B community near Cochabamba, Bolivia. Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) is an international organization that strives to end poverty caused by rural isolation by building pedestrian footbridges. B2P not only works with professional engineers, but also teams of university students. This project involved shadowing the project managers of the Rutgers University B2P team in their construction of a suspended footbridge with the Palmar Pampa B community. During the school year I collaborated with the Rutgers team, learning how to design the bridge, arrange logistics, and plan for construction. In Bolivia, I learned how to implement the bridge design, how to communicate and collaborate with the community members and bridge mason, and countless other important lessons. This bridge provided year-round access to fields and roads, as the community members could not cross the river during the rainy season before the construction of this bridge.
- GC Relation: Since this project involved the construction of a bridge, it relates directly to restoring and improving infrastructure. I was able to experience first-hand a project related to developing infrastructure within a community. This project was especially important because it allowed me to understand this GC from the point of view of another culture.
- Faculty Advisor: David Schaad
- Dates: July 30-August 10
- Total Hours: 24/7 while in-country, 4 hours per week during the 2016-17 school year
- Description: I served as project manager for a project in conjunction with Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) and the isolated community of Tablas Monte in the Colomi municipality of Bolivia. The members of this community cannot reach their fields and school during the rainy season because the river water level becomes too high to cross. In summer 2018, our team of 4 Duke students and 4 University College of London students traveled to Bolivia for 8 weeks in order to construct a suspended footbridge in partnership with the Tablas Monte community members. During the school year, I worked with my team to fundraise the cost of the bridge and personal expenses, design the bridge plans, plan construction, plan safety plans, and plan logistics. Once in Bolivia, I worked with the bridge mason to lead the construction tasks of each day, ensured material delivery, organized living eating and travel logistics for our team, and facilitated communication and collaboration with the community members.
- GC Relation: This project again relates to restoring and improving infrastructure, as it is a real-world example of developing a type of infrastructure (a bridge). It allows me to experience not only what is is like to be a project manager for an engineering project, but also what it is like to collaborate with the community with which you are working. It has exposed me to not only the importance of infrastructure, but also the importance of making projects community based.
- Faculty Advisor: David Schaad
- Dates: May 27-July 22
- Total Hours: 24/7 while in-country, 8 hours per week during the 2017-18 school year