Engineering for Others
The Engineers’ Creed, adopted by NSPE in 1954, states that professional engineers “dedicate [their] professional knowledge and skill to the advancement and betterment of human welfare.” Here are three PEs acting on those words in places around the world.
Seth Womble, P.E.
Vice President of Operations
What they do: Water Mission is a Christian engineering nonprofit that designs, builds, and implements safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. Since 2001, they have served more than 3.3 million people in 53 countries located in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Why it’s important: “I was just shocked by the lack of professionalism, quality, and engineering standards in relief and development water projects,” Womble says. “Many groups had good intentions but lacked the know-how…. We incorporate the latest technology into our safe-water solutions and monitoring processes.”
Why he got involved: After 10 years of working in the engineering and construction sector, Womble says that he was “overcome with a calling to serve a greater purpose.”
Bridging the Gap Africa
Jerry O’Connor, P.E.
Member of the Technical Advisory Committee
What they do: Bridging the Gap Africa assists local communities in rural Kenya in building footbridges across dangerous rivers. O’Connor also mentors University at Buffalo students who are supporting the mission of Bridging the Gap Africa.
Why it’s important: “Footbridges prevent drowning and ensure safe, uninterrupted access to education, health care, and economic opportunity,” O’Connor says. “We want to see bridges built to save and improve lives. Marginalized African communities should not suffer from the dangers posed by impassable rivers.”
Why he got involved: O’Connor says that he wanted to “make a difference and remind students that the practice of engineering has ethical responsibilities associated with it.”
Engineering Ministries International
Henry Watts, P.E.
Programs & Strategic Initiatives Director
What they do: Engineering Ministries International is a nonprofit Christian development organization made up of architects, engineers, surveyors, and construction managers who design and build facilities to serve the least reached worldwide.
Why it’s important: “Our design teams worldwide help our clients solve critical technical problems, helping them to serve their communities more effectively,” Watts says.The organization is also an opportunity for young designers to learn from experienced designers. “We aim to change lives and see our industry free from corruption,” he adds.
Why he got involved: “I love my role as a designer in that I get to listen, encourage, and pray for these people, while also consulting on how to design and build some facility that will help accomplish their vision.”