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!
STEM Workshop and Water Infrastructure Installation
This orphanage is located in the Andes Mountains near Vicuna, Chile and operated by Vocations for Orphans (VFO). Their goal is to provide a home and useful trade skills to orphans who have aged out of urban orphanages (13+ years old). SDSM&T’s Engineers and Scientists Abroad (ESA) will continue improving the orphanage’s infrastructure by maintaining and installing two water purification systems, solar cookers, a solar water heater, a water storage tank, and a greywater system. The ESA team will also conduct academic lessons throughout their stay focused on engineering principles, such as material strengths, fluid pressure, and harnessing solar energy.
Yes, this won an award too.
Usme Landslide Mitigation & Rainwater Harvesting
The two projects are: 1) a geotechnical survey and slope failure analysis of an active landslide area and 2) a rainwater harvesting pilot project to create several repeatable designs for the 300,000 homes in the Usme district of Bogotá, Colombia. These two projects blend well with each other and impact a deserving community. For example, a solution to decrease the landslide activity is to drain groundwater from the
mountainside, which could be combined with the rainwater for a large volume of usable greywater. Overall, the project teams plan is to create construction manuals for landslide mitigation structures and rainwater harvesting systems.
First off, we would like to sincerely thank IBM’s Students for a Smarter Planet Grant for helping make our journey possible! We are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Mongolia, but it would not be possible without all of the help we are receiving. We hope you find interest in our project, and we look forward to keeping you all up to date with our progress as we move forward with our preparations.
We are a team of six Engineering and Scientists Abroad (ESA) members from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T). Our project has begun here on campus, and during May 12 – June 7 we will be in Mongolia completing the on-site work. The projects include repair and reconstruction of the failing Argylin Garam Bridge near Darkhan, proctoring American Concrete Testing technician exams, fostering relations with Mongolian University of Science & Technology, and presenting a technical paper at the 13th International Concrete Conference on Concrete Technology in Darkhan on June 5-7, 2014.
Thank you again for your support and look forward to project updates soon! The excitement continues here as we just booked our tickets to Mongolia in May.
ESA Team Mongolia
We’re proud to assist this school club with their efforts to raise enough funding to get to Mongolia!
Argylin Garam Bridge Repair
This project will include the analysis, design, and repair of a failing vehicle bridge outside of Darkhan, Mongolia. Student members of SDSM&T’s Engineers & Scientists Abroad (ESA) will collaborate cross-culturally with students at Mongolia University of Science & Technology to successfully prepare and complete this bridge project. The project also involves teaching and proctoring the American Concrete Institute’s Concrete Field Testing Technician exam at several universities and companies in Darkhan and Ulaanbaatar. Overall, the project will continue to transfer knowledge of civil engineering and concrete technology to the country of Mongolia. This diaspora of knowledge is our mission through ESA.
This project will fulfill 3 credits of CEE 498 (Independent Study) for the three civil & environmental engineering students participating and they will earn a certificate in Global Engineering from SDSM&T.