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VILLANOVA ENGINEERING SERVICE LEARNING: AT HOME IN THE WORLD

VESL SNAPSHOT 2018–2019

14

partners

10

countries

84

O

ver the past 20 years, hundreds of Villanova students, faculty, staff and alumni have contributed countless hours and traveled millions of miles to put their engineering skills to work in communities around the world. Formalized in 2011 as Villanova Engineering Service Learning, VESL distinguishes itself from the service programs found at other universities in its fundamental belief that empowering local communities is essential to creating sustainable solutions. “We don’t show up assuming we have all the answers,” explains Director Jordan Ermilio, PhD, ’98 ME, ’06 MSWREE, who intentionally roots VESL projects in ethical engagement with partner organizations and communities. VESL work falls into three categories: 1. Field support to partner organizations on community development projects 2. Research and capacity building initiatives aimed at understanding long-term sustainability challenges 3. Humanitarian technology projects where students innovate and design solutions to various problems

18

This fall, teams traveled to Madagascar, Panama, Peru, Tanzania and Ghana to address challenges ranging from water infrastructure management to renewable energy. During winter break, additional teams will work on renewable energy, explosive ordnance disposal and STEM outreach in Ecuador, Indonesia, Cambodia and India.

students on field assignments

9

faculty

7

alumni

15

summer service internships

6

graduate research projects on international development and sustainability

7

senior design capstone projects

1

year of service assignment

495

students in total* *Participated in a VESL project through in-class projects, independent study, undergraduate research, seminar courses, field assignments, summer internships, year of service and graduate research fellowships

1991 New Villanova graduate Chris McMartin ’91 CE moves to Panama to volunteer with Father Wally Kasuboski

2000 Structural engineering senior capstone design projects begin for Amigos de Jesus in Honduras

1992–93 First engineering students work on water project in Panama

2004 Students work on community water supply projects in Nicaragua with Water for Waslala

2002 Water for Waslala established in Nicaragua by Villanova students

2007 Sustainable energy project in the Philippines; summer service internship program is piloted

2010 Faculty initiate new partnerships: Nova Mobile Health program in Nicaragua, EOD robotics and STEM outreach in Cambodia, capacity building and training of local engineers with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Haiti, water resources master plan project in Panama

2012 Summer service internships establish undergraduate leadership opportunities; year of service assignments establish field coordinators; graduate fellowship for international development creates research projects 2011 Villanova Engineering Service Learning program formally established; Jordan Ermilio named director

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Villanova Engineer - Fall 2019