DCI celebrates “National Engineers Week” by recognizing the professional efforts of our engineers! We caught up with those who participate in industry-related events to deepen their involvement with the community. Learn how our engineers stand out by sharing their technical skills beyond the workplace.
Robert is an active member of the Portland chapter of Engineers Without Borders because he wanted to “do something more” with his education and skills to help people in need. During trips to Les Anglais, Haiti in 2010 and 2012, he taught community volunteers how to safely maintain tablet-fed water chlorinators designed to treat a spring-fed water distribution system.
“We were chased out of the country for a couple of days because of an incoming storm (potential hurricane), but we achieved our big goals for the trip,” he said.
He returned to Haiti in 2014 to work on a composting latrine for a school/church compound. Robert was also involved with raising money for the program projects through grant work.
His favorite part of volunteering in Haiti was enjoying the local food and the people.
“It’s great to see how much joy there can be in the community, especially when people live in such poverty,” Robert said.
Melissa recently discussed the engineering profession to a group of third graders during Career Day. The kids learned how structural engineers are responsible for designing the framework for schools, hospitals, high-rises, and sports arenas. Melissa explained how CAD drawings of shear studs are necessary for her everyday work and shared her experience on The Independent project. The students were fascinated to learn that building structure could be designed with math together with computer programs similar to Minecraft.
“They thought it was pretty cool that structural engineers and CAD designers basically produce giant IKEA instructions for putting buildings together,” Melissa said. “The kids also liked the idea of putting on hard hats while visiting a construction site to observe the building’s progress. Hopefully we inspired them to become engineers someday!”
Avinash was part of the engineering team on the Rural Access Program (Phase 3), an international construction and infrastructure development project led by the United Kingdom’s Global Partnership for Education. The Rural Access Program improves the lives of poor and marginalized people in remote areas of Nepal.
“I was involved in every aspect of the project from planning, design, implementation, bidding, and measurement of infrastructure projects. Technically, I learned a lot, but it was an even more enriching experience to travel the rural places in Nepal and meet people there and learn about their life, hopes, dreams, and inspiration. I’m thankful for the experience!”
After Nepal’s 2015 earthquake, Avinash volunteered his time to help with the relief effort and worked for the government of Nepal to evaluate infrastructure rehabilitation.
About the Author
Rose Bechtold, Communications Specialist | Rose comes from a journalism and technical writing background. She is in her element while in research mode and naturally immerses herself in expert knowledge by interviewing staff members about new subjects. In her spare time, Rose practices plein-air sketching of buildings and random scenes around town.