Engineers remove borders

You have heard of Doctors Without Borders.

There is also Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a registered charity and non-profit corporation started in 2001 by two University of Waterloo engineers who financed the first projects with their own money.

Now, a group of students is currently working to start an EWB chapter at York. If you are interested in learning more about EWB, attend the launch on Friday, March 28, 6pm, room 3033 Computer Science & Engineering Bldg. Students from all faculties are welcome to attend. There will be free pizza and pop and lots of useful info! For more information about this event, check Events at York,

The original EWB founders hope the organization will have the same impact as internationally renowned Doctor’s Without Borders. The difference is, they see their role as using technology to help reduce poverty in the developing world.

EWB helps people in developing communities gain access to the technology they need to improve their lives. Members help with projects concerning water and sanitation, food production, health and hygiene, and communications and information technology.

Some of the benefits of becoming involved with such an organization are listed below. EWB can help:

  • develop the leadership skills you need to thrive in this world. Founding a chapter brings the unique opportunity to develop inspirational leadership, above and beyond the organizational and results-oriented leadership that are required to run a student organization.
  • open doors for your future career. Within the university, you will develop contacts with deans and faculty members. Members of EWB Canada are leaders in their domain and the network of connections you develop will be beneficial whether you remain in the development community or return to regular industry.
  • polish your resume. In an increasingly tight job market, companies look to hire students who have gone above the call of duty.
  • increase your chances of undertaking an internship. Given that one quality we look for in interns is passion and leadership, there is no better way of demonstrating this than starting a chapter.
  • EWB Canada. You will be given a seat on EWB Canada’s steering committee, which ensures EWB’s vision still reflects its members’ priorities.

Since its creation, EWB has grown to 22 chapters in various Canadian universities. In the past two years, EWB has made a difference in more than 15 countries around the world. More than 40 EWB volunteers have lived and worked in developing communities in the Philippines, Nepal, Zambia, India, Uganda, Cameroon, Haiti, Bolivia and more. These volunteers work to develop appropriate technology solutions in partnership with the community, assessing their technical, social and cultural needs.

If you are interested in becoming involved in an EWB chapter at York and cannot attend the inaugural meeting, contact Mike Ilnicki at or Meesum Ashraf at