Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!  We would like to thank IBM for choosing our team to be a recipient of the Students for a Smarter Planet Grant.  This trip would not be possible without this help, and we hope to use the funds to make difference and benefit as many people as we can.  We are so excited about our projects, and we hope you enjoy reading about our upcoming experiences we will share.

Our team consists of seven students from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T), and we are all members of Engineers & Scientists Abroad, or ESA for short.  Five members of the group are studying civil engineering, but we also have a geological engineering major, a computer science major, and, saving the best field of study for last, a chemical engineering major (that’s me, if you couldn’t tell).  We have been preparing to head to Bogotá, Colombia for almost a year, and we will finally make it happen a week from today!  Our first flight takes off on Saturday, March 8th and our last one returns on Saturday, March 15th.  We will have one week to spend working with a group of students at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) to complete two separate projects.

The two projects are:

1) A geotechnical survey and slope failure analysis of an active landslide area

2) A rainwater harvesting pilot project to create several repeatable designs for the 300,000 homes in the Usme district of Bogotá, Colombia

Overall, the project teams plan to create construction manuals for landslide mitigation structures and rainwater harvesting systems to impact this deserving community.  These projects will not only benefit the people of Usme, but also everyone involved.  By collaborating with the students from PUJ, we hope to exchange ideas and gain as much knowledge as we can to strengthen our development into global engineers.

This week we will put together everything we need for the trip and fix those last minute designs.

We can’t wait for this awesome adventure!

Hasta luego!

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