Matt Garneau '19 Leads EWB Team to Provide Fresh Water Systems to Villages in India by Amelia Hemingway-Martin '18
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Matt Garneau '19 Leads EWB Team to Provide Fresh Water Systems to Villages in India by Amelia Hemingway-Martin '18

Four students from Engineers without Boarders help schools in India Matthew Garneau ‘19 a sophomore civil engineering major and the vice president of the University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), completed his second trip to India during winter break to help Indian villages obtain clean water and power. Garneau and three other students, David Piekut ‘19, Dan Wietsman ‘19, and Stephen (Tyler) Arnold ‘19 traveled to Raisina Government Primary School and Rithoj Government Primary School, located in the villages of Ghamroj and Abheypur, about an hour outside of New Delhi, India’s capital, and installed submersible bore well pumps and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. These systems will supply fresh water and a steady stream of power to surrounding villages and schools.

For the past ten years, the University’s EWB club has been steadily adding two to three water pumps and UPS systems in poverty-stricken villages within India.

Before traveling to India, Matthew worked on a solar powered trailer for a golf cart. He undertook this project during his first year, alongside one of his classmates. He says this helped him learned valuable skills for his trip, including the use and installation of solar panels and the circuitry behind it, --talents that will ultimately be useful for his future career as well.

Matthew, EWB members, and Professor David Pines worked to design, engineer, and implement the well pumps and the UPS systems. They did most of the engineering and measurement work at CETA. While in India, the installation of the systems was the major focus along with small calculations to better fit the systems to the area. The EWB group also had help from Evalueserve and Navjyoti India Foundation NGO.

Most of the time in India was spent working to install the water pumps and the UPS system, but the students also had opportunities to interact with villagers and learn first hand about Indian culture.

The EWB group was also able to survey and interview potential sites where future well pumps and UPS systems might be installed in other local villages and schools.