Terry Gilberstadt introduced the speaker today, Sam Stoffels of the Engineers without borders, (EWB).  He is a structural engineer working on the SW light rail project.
 
Julie Wearn, Sam Stoffels
 
EWB is a large humanitarian organization focusing on building infrastructure around the world.  Their primary focus seems to be on clean water.  This organization was originally founded in Denver, CO in 2000.  Currently they have about 16,800 members.  EWB comes into a community and creates the project and then transfers the title to the community.  EWB maintains a 5 year commitment to the community to keep the project going.  Right now they operate in 42 countries.
 
There is one chapter in MN and two student chapters, one at the U of M and one at MNSCU Mankato.  There are about 100 professional members and they began in 2005. 
 
One of their projects is at Santa Rosa Senca, El Salvador.  It is a mountaintop community.  This was begun by the Students at Mankato.  Since they have made multiple trips to El Salvador to assess the situation, design a solution to the problem and then the threat level went too high for the student chapter so they transferred the project to the professional chapter which could go to El Salvador with the higher risk level and the project continued. 
 
Derek Olinger and Chris Cavett are the two other engineers working on this project.  The water is pumped up about 200 meters to a storage tank and then distributed on a gravity flow basis.  Hydraulic pressure is a problem.  The answer to this is a pressure reduction valve.  They are planning on going to El Salvador in February to install the Pressure reduction valves.  Hopefully this can be done in 3 days.  All the funding has been arranged for sans $1,500. 
 
Sam can be contacted at  stoffels88@gmail.com
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