Q&A with Ash Pandey, Vice President of Engineers Without Borders Australia, Sydney University Chapter


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Q: Ash, we hear you are involved in the Sydney Chapter of the “Engineers Without Borders” – we have heard that organisation’s name quite a bit in the past, but don’t know a lot about it, what’s its purpose in a nutshell?

In a nutshell, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is a member-based, community organisation that creates social value through engineering. The organisation has three main aims that guide the work we do.

Aim 1: Solutions for Social Change We will enable appropriate solutions to alleviate poverty and accelerate inclusive, sustainable development through engineering and technology.

Aim 2: Redefining Engineering – We will redefine engineering as a community centered profession that provides leadership in the creation of a more sustainable and inclusive world.

Aim 3: A Global Movement – We will inspire and mobilise a global community in engineering for social change.

Q: Further, we’ve heard about this organisation in other corners of the world on our travels. We are guessing, it’s a global organisation?

EWB Australia does do a lot of work overseas. There are opportunities for university students to go on the Humanitarian Design Summit. This is an educational study tour designed to provide students with professional work experience while allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of the role Human-Centred Design and technology play in creating positive change within communities.

There are also opportunities for professionals to get involved with the international development program. The Field Professional Placements build sector-wide capacity through long-term relationships, knowledge sharing and education. Currently, our Field Professionals work in Cambodia, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste supporting locally-led humanitarian engineering initiatives that empower communities to tackle issues such as access to clean water, renewable energy, and appropriate sanitation and housing.

Q: How long have you been involved in the organisation and why would you recommend others join?

I have been involved with the Sydney University chapter for almost two years now, initially serving as Fundraising Coordinator and currently Vice-President. I would recommend those who have an interest in using engineering as a tool for social growth. The work that I have done with my chapter, and overseas have been some of the richest experiences I have had at university. There are some things that just cannot be taught within the four walls of a classroom.

Q: What are the ways people can get involved?

There are many different ways to get involved with EWB. If you are a university student, the best way to get involved would be to join the chapter associated with your University. Professionals can also join their local or state chapter. EWB also run a variety of events throughout the year and people can get involved by attending those events!

Q: With “Engineers” being a big part of the title – we’re guessing there are some pre-requisites around minimum qualifications? Can you tell us what they are?

As “Engineers” is in the title – the organisation is all about Engineering! However, there are no pre-requisites for people to get involved. Plenty of people with all sorts or academic backgrounds get involved.

Q: What’s one of the more rewarding experiences you have been involved in while working with the organisation?

The most rewarding experience I have had with the organisation would have to be having the opportunity to attend the humanitarian design summit in India in December 2017! The work we did was incredible and the people that we met were phenomenal. It was the first time during my degree that I felt like I was making tangible and impactful change.

Q: If someone wants to get involved, who should they get in contact with?

If you are still in university, check out your uni chapters! They are a great way to get involved and you will meet amazing people with common interests. If you are a professional working in the industry, look out for events that EWB runs or apply to be a volunteer! All the information you need can be found on EWB’s website!

EWB Website: www.ewb.org.au

Membership Link: https://ewba.secure.force.com/CICM/Membership/EWB

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