Since 2014 representatives of the Water and Watershed Work Group have collaborated with the OSU Department of Civil and Construction Engineering to provide senior year engineering students with the opportunity to design Gondar area infrastructure projects based on input from representatives in Gondar. Although the students do not travel to Gondar because of budget limitations, they are able to rely on information provided to them by the work group. This project is the focus of the students’ “capstone class”, and the resulting designs are evaluated and ranked by practicing Oregon licensed engineers.
Twelve engineering students, divided into three teams, chose this option for the 2014-15 class year and designed a restroom for a school and a water distribution system from an existing work group-funded well to two school buildings.
In the 2015-16 academic year, nine students chose to participate. They developed designs for a kindergarten in Saina Sabia kebele. Their work was presented in May, 2016.
For the 2016-17 academic year, twelve students participated in this option. They chose to design various infrastructure projects for the Bridge of Hope campus, a nonprofit organization in Gondar which cares for orphans and provides them with educational and job placement opportunities. The designs included a water distribution system, roads, a pedestrian bridge, and a school.
During the 2017-18 academic year the twelve participating students were assigned two design projects – one for a restroom at a rural school and another for a worker living space at a tree nursery.
Students from all four of these classes have expressed appreciation for the opportunity to work on these unique projects located in a challenging environment. The Water and Watershed Work Group and the OSU Department of Civil and Construction Engineering are again working together during the 2018-19 academic year.