Engineers Without Borders – USA (EWB-USA) is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life. This partnership involves the implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students.
A firm belief in the principle that engineers must hold the public welfare paramount, or above any other responsibility, led Amadei to reconsider his involvement in a hydroelectric plant in Costa Rica in 2002. He thought that this project would displace to many local residents and violate this principle of “do no harm.” This realization came along about two years after his first experience with a humanitarian engineering project.
In 2000, Amadei organized an effort resulting in the construction of a water pump for a village in Belize. He undertook the effort at the suggestion of an immigrant landscaper working at his residence. Amadei saw that the installation of a pump to supply drinking water to the village of San Pablo would have a social impact on this community. Young girls in the village were tasked with carrying water each day from the river to the village. This meant that they could not attend school. Using the engineering talent of himself and his students to bring clean drinking water to the village had a huge social benefit to the community. This comprehension of the larger meaning of engineering inspired Amadei to create a volunteer organization that could enable engineers to donate their services in this manner.
Engineers Without Borders was founded by Bernard Amadei in 2000. He is Professor of Civil Engineering at University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
Bernard Amadei (born July 23, 1954 in Roubaix, France) is a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado, founder of Engineers Without Borders (USA), and director of the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a recipient of the Hoover Medal. In 2009, he was recognized with an Award of Excellence from Engineering News-Record.