Prakhar Agarwal, 2014, Operations Research and Financial Engineering

The Peru team of the Princeton University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders is working on building a potable water system in the community of La Pitajaya, Peru. This involves building a number of parts including a reservoir, spring box, piping system and tapstands. This summer, we completed phase one of this system implementation. We physically labored alongside the community, digging trenches for the piping and pouring concrete. We also worked to strengthen community relations, both through a number of talks with the children and women in the community, and through building local NGO relationships. We also laid the groundwork to complete the system this coming summer and conducted an assessment for a similar system in another part of the community. This trip was a great opportunity to learn about the challenges associated with international development. I learned the importance of being flexible and working with the community through the process. I also learned how I could apply my engineering skills outside of the classroom and, specifically, to development initiatives.