Nicole Businelli, 2013, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Engineers Without Borders (EWB)-Princeton Peru travelled to Samne this summer with the goal of constructing the first phase of a potable water system for the settlement of La Pitajaya. Our group assisted in coordinating meetings with the water committee, digging trenches for the piping network, purchasing materials, arranging transportation, hiring a mason, working with local NGOs, and compiling technical data for assessment of future phases of the community water system. We also helped educate the local women and school children about the water system design and proper water usage and hygiene. By the end of the trip, the EWB-Princeton team had successfully prepared the reservoir site and platform and constructed the spring box and structure at the water source. Our experiences in Peru underscored the difficulties, both physical and administrative, of doing international development work. Although nearly every department in the Engineering School was represented on the travel team, each student shared an interest in development work and hopes to apply these skills and lessons learned to the EWB-Peru project on campus. Beyond that, this trip has inspired some team members to consider joining the Peace Corps or other development opportunities post-graduation. I am now personally interested in pursuing a career in energy policy.