Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- April 13, 2005

Cal Poly Engineers Without Borders Make a World of Difference in Thailand

A pair of Cal Poly environmental engineering students traveled to Thailand last month to collect water samples at a mountain village where residents are concerned about the possibility water-borne illnesses, especially during the rainy season.

Working as volunteers for Cal Poly's chapter of Engineers Without Borders, Eileen Mick and Michael Borger collected water samples from the village of Mae Nam Khun, and ran a variety of tests on site to characterize the drinking water quality. They also checked out the community's water source and distribution system, looking for potential sources for contamination to the community's drinking water supply, such as upstream agriculture, villages, or industrial practices.

The Cal Poly project is part of a larger EWB effort in Thailand. The Cal Poly students joined two other EWB chapters during their construction phase. Students and professionals from Seattle University came together to build primary school dormitories, while the UC Santa Barbara team built the adjoining septic system.

New this year at Cal Poly, EWB is a national organization established in 2000 to design and build projects that bring sustainable, long-term benefits to impoverished communities around the globe. The Cal Poly club has 64 members who are also involved in monitoring water quality in Morro Bay and examining water run-off on campus.

"What I've found is that EWB offers a great opportunity for personal growth and leadership experience," said Mick. "It is a way to make a difference now while we're still in school."

For more information, see

Contact: Amy Hewes, College of Engineering, (805) 756-6402,

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