University of Illinois Engineers Without Borders Chapter to Build Bridge in Malawi

photo: Engineers Without Borders, UIUC Chapter

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign student chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a nonprofit that designs infrastructures across the world in disenfranchised communities, is currently working on a project in Malawi.

UIUC’s project began in 2014 with the goal of becoming the chapter’s first structures project. The group is designing a footbridge over the Lunzu River in Chilaweni, Malawi, to allow community members to safely travel to and from their community, especially during the rainy season when the river they have to cross is dangerous and deep.

Over the past four years, the student chapters have spent time surveying Malawi, collecting data and meeting with the community to decide which area most needed their design expertise. The team is now ready to design a steel footbridge, with plans to erect it next summer.

The chapter is looking for a variety of sponsors to raise the remaining $37,000 of its $40,000 construction budget. ARCO/Murray, Baldridge and Associates Structural Engineering, Inc. (an AISC member) and W.E. O’Neil Construction have already donated.

The team is also looking for more engineers to volunteer at least an hour a week to work with the students on the design.

If you’re interested in sponsoring or volunteering, contact