ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS SOUTH AFRICA

Have a look at what EWB-UCT is up to.

University of Cape Town

       

Let's make EWB-UCT projects happen!

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Upcoming events

Committee

  • Chloe Bolton - Co-Chair
  • Juliana Diniz - Co-Chair
  • Dayle Nel - Vice Chairperson
  • Obakeng Leepo - Secretary
  • Tawanda Maseva - Treasurer
  • Muhammed Razzak - Project Coordinator
  • JP Thako - Events and Marketing
  • Taku Mtombeni - External Relations

Projects

Blog

  • 15 Dec 2016 1:23 PM | Dhruti Dheda (Administrator)

    EWB-UCT boasts another successful trip around the sun. As we bid farewell to 2016, a somewhat historical year nationally, it is important to take a few moments to look back and reflect on the enthusiasm and efforts of our students. The year started out with a bang. O-week was filled with many familiar faces as well as a cohort of fresh energy in the form of eager first years who were all searching for their place to make an impact on the big wide world. Numbers rose quickly to feats well above the record breaking mark of 450. We could have seen it coming from a mile away and yet nothing could have prepared us for the over whelming reality of it all. It all seemed too good to be true but the first meeting of the year did away with any and all doubt when we were able to fill all the seats in one of UCT’s largest lecture venues. One seat filled by the legendary Wiebke Toussaint herself. The meeting allowed all Project Leaders to present their plans for the year and provide an opportunity for the new members to discover where their skills and energy would best be invested for the year.

    In the first quarter we hosted ex-UCT students, Paul Mesarik and Francouis Petousis who chatted to our members about their social enterprise, Lumkani, using simple technologies to address the issue of hazardous fires in urban informal settlements. They spoke of the development process from concept to implementation and discussed the challenges that they faced along the way. Furthermore the first quarter also saw the pilot of an EWB-UCT hosted Arduino Day workshop through which members could learn the basics of Aurduino programming and sensing.

    Later in the year we joined forces with the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Prof Alison Lewis, to hold a screening of The Shore Break. We were joined by the Co-Producer of the award winning documentary to facilitate a conversation around the politics and impact of development and mining on the Wild Coast in South Africa. Attended by academics, postgraduate students as well undergraduate students the space created was diverse and the conversation informative and interesting.

    While EWB-UCT made it their aim to provide their members with more opportunity to engage and grow as a society there were many students who were working tirelessly around the clock to push their specific projects forward. We oversaw 9 projects in total this year. The Vukukhanye Project focused on renovating the existing structure of Vukukhanye Primary School in Gugulethu in hopes to improve the learning environment for the benefit of the learners and their families. The Cheetah Enclosure Project worked in partnership with the Somerset Cheetah Outreach Park with the aim of designing a stimulating playpen for the cheetah cubs. The High-Efficiency Stove Project continued work on the development of a technology that will allow for the safe efficient burning of treated wood for cooking purposes. The Litre of Light project continued to provide solar lighting in shacks and used the year to research and develop a low cost solution to providing light at night. The Digital Bridge Project joined forces with ESW to renovate and improve computer facilities at Parkwood Primary School. Further progress was made in The Solar MPPT and Tracking Project, The Star Path Project, Sterling Engine Project and the Nunu Sheapheads Project all researching and developing innovative ways to solve problems faced by communities with the goal to improve their standard of living.


  • 13 Apr 2016 11:12 PM | Dhruti Dheda (Administrator)

    20160220_130152After a busy start of term, we saw the enthusiasm of our members through the large number of sign ups. Now we are tasked to keep the motivation levels soaring and have seen our project leaders organize day projects to do so.

    During the first and second term, project leader for the Vukukhanye Primary School Upgrades, Lulama Mtyeku,  organized two successful days where the society was invited to scrape and paint the walls, window frames and poles. The school is located in Gugulethu, and looks to be a great point of community upliftment, with a few great initiatives and support from a variety of organizations. More information can be seen at the project’s home page.

    20160220_130324These day projects fell on the 20th of February and the 19th of March. Here is a report from the Project Leader:
    On the last outing , the metalwork and a row of windows were repainted. While the windows looked brand new thanks to the previous visit, the metalwork was not at the same standard. Small areas of paint had begun to peel off and so we had to redo those sections. In order to reduce the chances of any paint peeling off again, we waited much longer than previously for the primer to dry. We were too small to split up into many groups, so the group made sure to finish up sanding and priming the metalwork. Then we went on to paint another row of windows , which was easy work to do this time around since it was no longer a first time experience for anyone. 
    After finishing up the windows we returned to finish painting the parts of the metalwork that were a problem. Only a small section is still left to be finished but even though the group was small the effort put in by everyone was enough to make sure that progress was made. Hopefully we can finish all the metalwork on the next outing. 
    Some members of the group have already begun preparations to start painting the walls. It’s a big task because some areas need to be scraped and cleaned before any painting can happen but with the right numbers we can get it done quickly and efficiently. 
    Since this was the second project day, a committee to handle the project was already in place and their contributions made the day run smoothly so very little time was wasted figuring out what needs to be done. The team was eager and so everyone was kept busy, which was very important in making sure that everyone felt part of the project. The second day was another success story, which continues to give hope to completing the project.


  • 13 Apr 2016 2:21 PM | Wiebke Toussaint (Administrator)

    EWB-UCT decided to celebrate Genuino Day with a skills workshop where we taught a small group of our members basic programming through the interactive use of microcontrollers. Genuino is the name of for Arduino outside of the US, and the 2nd of April is the day hobbyists and learners throughout the world get together to share the ease of the platform and the fun projects it enables.

    The workshop was aimed at beginners and the participants comprised of fresh electrical engineering students, and students from other departments, some of whom had never programmed before. It was a slow start,( expected by anybody who knows the pains of setting up a toolchain on a system that allows no permanent changes to the file system), but we introduced the concept of microcontrollers and proceded to basic digital control. The small group was engaged and eager to learn more about the systems, with some staying well after the lesson ended, to discuss the next topics and other uses.
    Given the enthusiasm, we have decided to make this a sustainable initiative with the next lesson planned for two weeks after this one. The curriculum will require a bit of polishing, but the teaching team has begun to grow, and intentions to partner with Intel have surfaced.
    There is a strong plan for the road ahead and we look forward to the great effects of teaching our members a new skill and giving them real world problems in which they can apply those skills,(hint:automated irrigation in a greenhouse) something that the UCT course does not offer. This initiative will also have the benefit of adding value to EWB membership and allowing us to partner with companies, like Intel. Keep an ear out for our upcoming events, we have something great in the works.

  • 22 Feb 2016 10:55 PM | Dhruti Dheda (Administrator)

    20160208_141535_HDRThe past month has been a very busy and exciting time down in the Mother City for EWB-UCT and hundreds of new students who have made their first steps towards a future in engineering. We don’t expect them to wait before they feel like they have permission to change the world and we organised opportunities for all our members to express that desire to make a difference, from the get go.

    20160210_114431_HDRThe committee rushed around to visit and announce our presence to all the new engineering students, and capture their smiles with our #awesome new Instagram frame. Those visits and the bubbly presentations netted us over 450 signups, during a really hot plaza week,(candy floss and free stationery helped that figure too.) Afterwards we threw everything into our project introduction meeting, taking place in the next week. We had a massive turnout at the 2016 inaugural meeting and introduced our 10 projects and their respective leaders. The meeting added to our great start of 2016, and we weren’t done yet.

    20160208_123620Already we had progressed greatly by assigning new, driven and optimistic project leaders to our projects and we have high expectations from these students who are to become the pillars of our success. Our social media presence has grown greatly and we filled our calendars with events that will be sure to keep our timelines and feeds full of great happenings, so stay tuned.

     




  • 17 Feb 2015 11:02 PM | Dhruti Dheda (Administrator)

    EWBUCTOweek2015This is the prime marketing time for UCT societies, so we wasted no time getting students excited about our organisation and the work that we do. We were all over campus promoting our brand with classroom visits, letting engineering freshers know that we exist and are eager to have them in our super-innovative family.

    For three days, the committee spent a bit of time facilitating member sign ups and selling EWB-UCT  shirts, which are absolutely beautiful. We talked to the UCT community about what we have lined up for the year, and what part they can play in all of this. We are proud to say, we had a successful O-week and we are eager to take on the year, ready to empower communities.


  • 21 Mar 2014 10:23 PM | Dhruti Dheda (Administrator)

    DSC_0010EWB-UCT has been hosting a Human-Centered Design course over five Saturdays during March. The course teaches how to become more socially conscious when coming up with solutions to problems people face. So far the feedback has been great and members are enjoying being challenged beyond what is taught in the engineering classroom.

    “I’m enjoying the problem solving nature of the course and I  like the open structure that allows the groups to work at their own pace. The course’s method of aiding us as we work through an existing problem is very effective.”

    “Everything is going great. Learning a lot, which is really cool. Feeling challenged (mentally), which is great.” 



ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS SOUTH AFRICA

Empowering Engineers to Empower Communities

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