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UW Student Organization Helps Build Dormitory in Africa

December 15, 2016
EWB members pose with Kenyan villagers at a dormitory construction site in summer 2016. (EWB Photo)
EWB members pose with Kenyan villagers at a dormitory construction site in summer 2016. (EWB Photo)

The University of Wyoming chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-WYO) completed its biggest project to date, helping construct a dormitory in an African country in the summer of 2016.

For the past four years, EWB-WYO has partnered with a primary school in Mbita, Kenya, to build a 60-bed dormitory for students. The school serves orphaned and vulnerable children and develops programs to provide a safe living and learning environment for the school’s attendees.

Two assessment trips were conducted in 2014 and 2015 to evaluate community needs, perform a technical assessment and gather data for structure design. Under the direction of UW College of Engineering and Applied Science students Adam Block and Brett Prettyman, who served as project managers, a group of students, professionals and faculty progressed from contractor selection to structural completion of the dormitory in a slightly more than two months.

UW Civil and Architectural Engineering Associate Professor David Mukai was the faculty adviser for the project, and Erin Radosevich and Duncan Kline of Malone Belton Abel P.C. were professional advisers. The team utilized a confined masonry technique, a unique construction method used in seismic zones to resist earthquake effects. Block says the team has received very positive feedback about the completion of the design, adding the community leaders have said the dormitory is “the strongest building we have ever seen.”

In a press release, EWB-WYO praised its supporters.

“Engineers Without Borders would like to say an enormous ‘Thank You’ to those of you who helped make the dormitory a reality,” the release states. “Your time and donations will have a significant impact on generations of Kenyan and American students to come.”

For more information on EWB-WYO, click here.


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