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Interdisciplinary Approach To A Multi Phase Engineering Project For The Developing Community Of Araypallpa, Peru

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Sustainable Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.813.1 - 11.813.10



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Paper Authors


Vered Doctori Blass University of California-Santa Barbara

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Vered Doctori Blass is a graduate student at the Bren school of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB. She serves as the co-president of EWB-UCSB and as the Araypallpa, Peru project manager.

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Mary Hong Loan Dinh University of California-Santa Barbara

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Mary Dinh is a Staff Engineer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UCSB. She develops undergraduate laboratory courses. She also serves as the staff advisor for EWB-UCSB.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Interdisciplinary Approach to a Multi-Phase Engineering Project for the Developing Community of Araypallpa, Peru Abstract

The student chapter of Engineers Without Borders at the University of California, Santa Barbara (EWB-UCSB) has been engaged in an engineering project with the community of Araypallpa, Peru since February 2004. Implemented in phases, the project included installation of a solar panel at the community’s school, construction of a pilot slow sand filter to purify the community’s domestic water supply, establishment of the community’s health baseline, and assessment of future needs. The project team members come from a diverse background including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, materials engineering, industrial engineering, chemical engineering, environmental science, geography, physics, biotechnology, film studies, and social anthropology. The team includes undergraduate and graduate students, professional mentors, and staff advisors. This paper presents an engineering service-learning project conducted by a multidisciplinary group of students and mentors on a solely volunteer basis. The main goals of the project, achievements, concepts incorporated, and lessons learned during the last two years are described. Funding, including budget and fundraising efforts, are also briefly described.


Engineers Without BordersTM – USA (EWB-USA) is a non-profit organization established in 2000 to help developing areas worldwide with their engineering needs, while involving and training internationally responsible engineering students. EWB–USA projects involve the design and construction of water, waste-water, sanitation, energy, and shelter systems. These projects are initiated by, and completed with, contributions from the host community, which is trained to operate the systems independently without external assistance. The projects are conducted by groups of students under the supervision of faculty and professional engineering mentors. By involving students in every step of the process, the program maximizes their learning and awareness of the social, economic, environmental, political, ethical, and cultural impacts of engineering projects.

In October 2003, the EWB chapter at the University of California, Santa Barbara (EWB-UCSB) was established. The chapter consists of undergraduate and graduate students, professional mentors, and staff advisors. In addition to the project teams, the chapter has an executive committee that undertakes chapter development. Members may choose to be on a project team, serve as an officer on the executive committee, or do both. To date, the chapter has been involved in projects in Peru and Thailand. This paper presents EWB-UCSB’s Araypallpa, Peru project as an example of a service-learning project conducted on a solely volunteer basis, using the principles of appropriate technology as a guide. A volunteer-based project may be a first step in introducing a service-learning component into the engineering program.

Doctori Blass, V., & Dinh, M. H. L. (2006, June), Interdisciplinary Approach To A Multi Phase Engineering Project For The Developing Community Of Araypallpa, Peru Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1014

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