Despite a heavy exam schedule, about 60 people turned out for the first
meeting of Concordias chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB).
The meeting, held April 17 in the DeSève Cinema, gave students
in the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science a chance to find out
about the new campus organization and hear brief talks from two industry
speakers: Hany Moustapha, Manager of Technical Programs at Pratt &
Whitney Canada, and Robert Collins, a demining expert who also works at
STMicroelectrics, a global semiconductor manufacturer.
The evening was a big success, especially considering how busy everyone
is with exams right now, said Hany Sarhan, co-founder and president
of Concordias new EWB chapter. I thought the best part of
the night was the question-and-answer session [after Collins spoke about
removing landmines], continued Sarhan, a third-year student who
also spoke briefly at the event. People were very interested, and
they were really pushing to get a spot in next years EWB.
Engineers Without Borders is an organization made up of engineers and
students who aim to help bridge the growing technological gap between
developed and Third World countries. Current endeavours include the Light
Up the World project, which is helping to construct and install low-energy
lighting and generators in India. EWB is also involved in water purification
and safety projects in Chile to rid the water supply of high levels of
The new Concordia chapter of EWB is only the second in Quebec, the other
being at McGill. Sarhan, who co-founded the new chapter with third-year
students Mark Vukadin Seidah and Patrice Desdunes, got the ball rolling
partly over a sense of rivalry and partly because of popular demand at
What set it off was reading an article about the McGill chapter.
The more I talked about setting something up at Concordia, the more I
found that others in the department were feeling the same way.
Desdunes, a third-year civil engineering student, agreed. Engineers
are sometimes faceless people, he said. But with this, well
get to help people and to meet them. Well be involved in something
bigger. You could tell by the number of questions [after Collins
demining talk] that theres a lot of interest here.
Sarhan is also happy about raising a social conscience in the Faculty
of Engineering and Computer Science. It will be amazing to use what
were learning for some real benefit across the world. Were
all looking for jobs when we graduate, but having Engineers Without Borders
at Concordia gives a humanitarian perspective that you arent going
to get at any company, Sarhan said.
The Concordia chapter of Engineers Without Borders begins its first full
year of operation this September.