“Empowering Engineers To Empower Communities” Engineers Without Borders – UKZN 2020

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By: Alisha Naicker (EWB-UKZN Media Officer)

“Empowering Engineers To Empower Communities”

Who are we?

Engineers Without Borders- UKZN (EWB-UKZN) is the UKZN chapter of Engineers Without Borders South Africa. EWB-UKZN is an organization that provides a platform for students and professionals from the UKZN community to apply their skills to uplift their community. We are a student driven NPO started in 2014 and based at UKZN’s Howard College campus. Our vision is to improve the quality of life of our communities in a sustainable manner through engineering, technology and science. We aim to run EWB-UKZN in line with EWB-SA as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you want to give back to your community whilst networking with industry professionals, learning how to use theoretical knowledge in practical applications and joining forces with like-minded individuals to make a difference then EWB-UKZN is the place for you. 

Opening presentation for 2020

This year started off with an extraordinary turnout at our first meeting/opening presentation for the year. This event was held on the 3rd of March 2020 during the forum period in the Mechanical Engineering LAN on Howard College campus. Many UKZN students and lecturers alike joined us and showed great interest in knowing how they can build a better world through engineering and technology whilst empowering various communities to meet their basic needs. Our chapter chair, Asanda Ngcobo (pictured below) gave a riveting presentation on EWB, what we are all about and the future of EWB-UKZN. 

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Our plan for the year

This year we will be undertaking various projects of both small and large scale in nature. We aim to engage the entire EWB-UKZN community and get everyone involved in as many projects as possible whilst also creating opportunities and platforms for our members to network and grow their skills base. Some of the projects we plan to undertake this year are as follows:

  • HCD Project – Our Human Centered Design project is our biggest project for the year and a requirement from EWB-SA. Our project is a continuation from our HCD Project last year which was to aim to set up a mobile classroom in Tofo Mozambique. The e-classroom aims to allow the community to learn engineering skills via live broadcast from Durban. This project integrates both social and engineering skills. This year we aim to continue with this social impact challenge which includes further visits to Tofo. 
  • Engineering Talk – Where individuals from various disciplines and areas of expertise come in to speak to EWB-UKZN about their experiences giving our community much needed insight into the working world.
  • Eco-Brick House – This is one of our continuation projects. We aim to construct an Eco-brick house for an underprivileged family in Mpophomeni. Pictured below is the progress made last year on making this Eco-brick house a reality.
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  • Speed Mentoring Workshop – Where the UKZN community has the opportunity to ask their burning questions to professional engineers. Pictured below are the mentors, students and EWB members that attended the 2019 speed mentoring session. 
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There are various other projects and socials lined up such as: movie nights, 3D printing workshops, CESA math workshops and CESA math relay to name a few. Picture below are some of our members having fun at our CESA math relay which is one of our more fun, fellowship based events.

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How can you get involved?

EWB-UKZN is a great opportunity and platform for you to not only uplift your community but also grow your technical skills and network. You do not need to be an Engineer to be a member or volunteer. Applications are open to all KZN students and graduates. For more information or to keep up to date with our initiatives follow us on:

Facebook: Engineers Without Borders-UKZN

Instagram: ewb_ukzn

Twitter: @ewb_ukzn

To get involved send us an email on: ukzn@ewbsa.org or follow the link on our Facebook post that was published on the 13th of March 2020. To find out more about EWB-SA visit: www.ewbsa.org

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