Student Engineers Help with Sustainable Technology
October 20, 2011
Dartmouth students are a welcome sight in the African village of Banda, Rwanda. Thayer School of Engineering’s Theodore Sumers ’12 recently returned from two months in Banda working as a member of Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering (DHE).
“I was truly surprised by the number of people who approached us and thanked us for our work there,” says DHE President Sumers. “They told us that we had made a huge difference in their village.”
Sumers heads up a team that has been working since 2008 to bring electricity to Banda’s 4,000 residents—an effort that has won them a 2011 Outstanding Student Humanitarian Prize from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers during the institute’s Change the World Competition.
“DHE is a great example of a student-led organization with a broad impact. As advisers, we provide guidance on safety and logistics and connect the students with subject matter expertise, but the mission and projects are defined, designed, and executed by the students,” says Thayer Assistant Dean Carrie Fraser, who provides DHE administrative advising in partnership with Professor Charles Sullivan, DHE’s faculty adviser.