Interdisciplinary project in


Interdisciplinary project in Honduras combines engineering and economics

EASTON, Pa.(, May 6, 2009 — A group of six students received an honorable mention for their sustainability efforts in El Convento, Honduras, at the Environmental Protection Agency’s P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) competition.

Using their work in Honduras as a model, the students are creating a sustainable development framework as a conceptual design for rural potable water infrastructure projects and integrated economic activities in developing countries. The framework can be used as a guide for other student groups performing similar sustainability projects. The EPA previously awarded the framework project a $10,000 grant.

The students are members of the College’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders and the Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project.

El Convento, which is located in the Yoro district of central Honduras, is the third sustainable water project EWB students have worked on in the country since 2003. EWB has also implemented gravity-fed water systems in neighboring Lagunitas and La Fortuna. The group’s previous work garnered national media exposure for being one of six national institutions to receive a $75,000 grant from a previous P3 competition.

Following the infrastructure improvements made by EWB, students in EEGLP have worked with the Honduran villagers to help create sustainable economies through the growing of local coffee since the summer of 2007. The project received a $10,000 grant from Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Projects for Peace.

The students who presented at the P3 competition are:civil engineering majorsMichael Adelman ’10 (Clarks Summit, Pa.), Joaquin Beltran ’11 (Arequipa, Peru), and Lori Gonzalez ’10 (Bronx, N.Y.); Jason Mills ’09 (Stony Point, N.Y.), an electrical and computer engineering major; Katie Reeves ’10(Colorado Springs, Colo.), a double major in economics & business and a self-designed, interdisciplinary major in bioenvironmental science; and Kavinda Udugama ’09 (Kandy, Sri Lanka), who is pursuing a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering and an A.B. with a major in mathematics. The students were advised by Gladstone Fluney Hutchinson, associate professor of economics, and Joshua Smith, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.