September 10, 2012

Engineers Without Borders International and Alcoa Foundation Recruit Fellows for Sustainable Development Projects

Professional and Student Engineers Help Build Better Communities


DENMARK – Engineers Without Borders International (EWB I) announced today that Alcoa Foundation, is providing a $200,000 grant for the Building for Better program that supports engineering faculty and students at Alcoa’s academic partners in Australia, Brazil, Canada and the United States. Through the program, over 150 engineering students will leverage their skills in community-based projects located in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, India, Kenya and Nicaragua. The impact of students’ time and expertise will result in an improved quality of life for an estimated 7,000 people.

Their participation in Building for Better also represents an opportunity for students to engage in skills-based volunteering, which is a new form of engagement that enables professionals to invest their knowledge and experience in applied opportunities. As part of the program students will share lessons learned and best practices concerning clean water, sanitation and access to transportation.  

The EWB members, ranging from professors dedicated to provide their students with the opportunity to get hands-on experience, to student groups and teams of engineers interested in applying their skills in real-world settings, have the opportunity to create and gain valuable field experience through service learning in rural or peri-urban communities. 

"Through our projects and programs, we provide innovative professional educational opportunities that provide a global perspective. The Alcoa Foundation grant allows us to continue important work to directly affect communities in need every year," said Cathy Leslie, Executive Director of Engineers Without Borders USA and a member of Engineers Without Borders International. 

"As a mining, manufacturing and engineering company, Alcoa looks to advance meaningful programs that inspire and prepare students and professionals for long-term careers in engineering," said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. "Through EWB’s established Building for Better, the next generation of engineers will embark on transformative experiences that enhance their skills while positively impacting communities around the world. It's a great demonstration of shared value creation."

About Engineers Without Borders International
Engineers Without Borders International (EWB-I) is an international association of national EWB/ISF groups whose mission is to facilitate collaboration, exchange of information, and assistance among EWBs.  The member groups of EWB-I share a similar mission, which is to partner with developing communities to improve their quality of life through education and implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while promoting global dimensions of experience for engineers, engineering students, and similarly motivated non-engineers. EWB-I creates links between like-minded organizations and cuts across national borders.   More information can be found at

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$446 million. Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$550 million since 1952. In 2011, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s (NYSE:AA) thousands of employee volunteers who share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2011, a record 56 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,200 events across 24 countries, reaching 81,000 children, serving 9,000 meals, planting 34,000 trees and supporting 1,800 nonprofit organizations. More information can be found at