Engineers Without Borders

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Local chapter of EWB:

http://www.ewb-kc.org/

The best place to look for existing projects and proposed future projects is on the EWB-USA website: http://www.ewb-usa.org

Specifically, I think your expertise could really break some ground with researching some of these topics: http://ewb-usa.org/ResearchProjects.php but there are hundreds of projects already in progress: http://ewb-usa.org/project_search.php

Each of the university chapters that I'm connected with has selected their own projects to participate in. Usually this is done by developing relationships with NGOs around the world, or by searching the EWB database that I provided above. Every project is different in its origins, but the central goal is ongoing community development through sustainable and nuanced application of existing technology.

In many ways, the problems of the third world offer new/different possibilities than those of the first world... each problem is local, therefore each solution is local. In many cases, the critical infrastructure does not exist to connect people to any "grid" or "network," so we're always starting from scratch... sensitive to the needs and cultural traditions of the people we meet.

In terms of collaboration, I would envision you being technical mentors to the students as they research/design new solutions. Potentially, as time goes on, students may wish to incorporate your farm as a open source laboratory for testing and fabrication of their projects... we can talk about this more as time goes on. Students would certainly benefit from exposure to your lifestyle and worldview.

Best, frank