Engineering students land EWB awards
From left are Grace Marcoux, Anna Gosine, Taylor Chalker, Philippa Gosine, Alycia Leonard and Brandon Collier. Missing from the photo: Alex Mackay and Bethany Roberts.
A group of Memorial engineering students who attended the national Engineers Without Borders (EWB) conference in Montreal, Que., recently came away with new ideas, self-confidence, connections and a pair of awards for their hard work.
Eight students from EWB’s 30-member Memorial chapter attended the annual conference.
Philippa Gosine, a fourth-year ocean and naval architectural engineering student, was the only student who received EWB’s national community award for her work with the organization’s Global Engineering Initiative.
First-year engineering student Taylor Chalker won the Social Intrapreneurship Challenge for designing a business or program that solves a global or economic issue.
For the past year, Ms. Gosine has been president of EWB’s Memorial chapter and is also Atlantic team lead for the national committee on Global Engineering Initiative.
She was selected for the EWB’s national community award for “courageously committing” to the work of the organization. That includes helping to launch the Global Engineering Certificate, a three-course program for which 25 students are registered at Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
Memorial is the first university to launch this initiative.
“The plan is to launch it in universities across Canada,” Ms. Gosine said. “Through the Global Engineering Certificate, EWB provides an avenue to enhance the knowledge we gain in our engineering education with the skills required to tackle the most critical issues society faces.”
During the conference, Ms. Gosine also met some of EWB’s African partners, including Nafisa Rafiatu Adams who started a jewelry business in Ghana to put herself through school. Known as Beads of Hope, it’s supported by EWB’s Kumvana program and employs 50 young women.
“She’s been extremely successful and the whole purpose of this was to give the women in the community independence, security and the power that comes with that.”
Ms. Chalker took home her EWB award for developing an Eco-Café that supports local farmers and industries. During a three-hour session, she and other participants were challenged to come up with a solution to an economic problem.
“We were going to use recyclable material to make it, it was going to have solar panels, and a greenhouse in the backyard – it was incredibly detailed,” she said.
With the help of an entrepreneur, the students came up with a business plan and were given a tight timeline to pitch their ideas to a board of successful global business people.
“They gave us five minutes to come with a presentation and two minutes to present. … They ended up saying that ours was the best, and if they were to invest in something they would invest in ours.”
During high school, Ms. Chalker says she was a quiet student, who didn’t get involved and didn’t participate in public speaking. She says joining EWB and attending the conference has given her the opportunity to expand her horizons and to meet new people.
“I had to be confident and outgoing in order to find out who these people were and what they could teach me. I learned so much there – that was my favourite thing that I’ve done so far with MUN.”