Colorado hosts Engineers Without Borders conference Sept. 22-25

Sept. 19, 2004
Global leaders to gather at CH2M Hill headquarters in Denver to guide international workshop -- Fall 2004 EWB-USA National Conference -- on "The Engineer's Role in Capacity Building for the Developing World." Coming population boom to create unprecedented demands on water resources...

DENVER, Sept. 15, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Over the next two decades, the world's population is expected to expand by two billion people. This boom will create unprecedented demands on shared resources such as clean air, food, water and conventionally used fuels and building materials. Exacerbating the matter is the fact that nearly all of this growth will happen in underdeveloped countries -- places already lacking the necessary infrastructure to meet even the most basic human needs.

Responding to these critical global issues, Engineers Without Borders - USA (EWB-USA) will host political leaders and activists from around the world to guide a four-day conference beginning Wednesday, September 23, at CH2M HILL's headquarters in Denver. The primary goals for the event are to map a clear course of action for successful capacity building in developing countries, as well as strategize how to engage more engineering professionals in creating long-term solution to meet basic water, sanitation, food, health, shelter and energy needs.

"In order to stay competitive, tomorrow's engineer will need to become more culturally savvy, as well as adept at implementing appropriate technologies," explained Cathy Leslie, executive director of EWB-USA, an international non-profit humanitarian organization based in Longmont, Colo. "Capacity building is not about constructing a showcase engineering project. It's about coming up with practical, sustainable solutions that fit the environment, its people and the culture as well."

In order to lay the groundwork for this new paradigm shift, a series of keynote lectures and panel discussions will explore capacity building from a variety of perspectives. Scheduled speakers will range from international policy makers to world business leaders and from non-profit groups advocating human rights to university professors educating the next generation of engineers. The lineup includes Maurice Albertson, one of the original founders of the Peace Corps; Hunter Lovins, the critically acclaimed author of Natural Capitalism; and several top officials from the United Nations.

The conference will also provide a platform for attendees to participate in consensus building and outlining a plan to help empower developing communities through sustainable engineering projects. Topics will cover both technical and non-technical issues, focusing on EWB-USA's fieldwork around the world. An emphasis also will be placed on collaboration between engineering students and professionals through forming EWB-USA chapters at home and implementing projects abroad.

"CH2M HILL is thrilled to sponsor this conference," said Bud Ahearn, CH2M HILL vice chairman. "Dr. Bernard Amadei (a civil engineering professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and founder of EWB-USA) and his team are making remarkable progress in bringing engineering students, professors and practitioners together to serve the infrastructure needs of developing communities. This event promises to be a dynamic and insightful forum for advancing sustainable community development, and we're proud to be a part of it."

In addition to major support from CH2M HILL and its staff, conference sponsors also include ASCE, ASME, WFEO, UNIDO, UNESCO, ASFE/The Best People on Earth, Water For People, Wisdom Works and EWB-International. For more information about EWB-USA and this conference, call 303-772-2723 or visit

Engineers Without BordersTM - USA (EWB-USA) is a non-profit organization established in 2000 to help developing areas worldwide with their engineering needs. The organization helps partner students and professionals to help future engineers become more educated in international issues including capacity building, sustainable development and appropriate technology. As of 2004, EWB-USA has grown to 1,100 members who are involved in 50 projects located in 22 different countries worldwide -- including Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Thailand, Haiti, Belize, Nicaragua and Peru.

EWB-USA projects involve design and construction of water, wastewater, sanitation, energy and shelter systems. These endeavors are initiated by and completed with contributions from the host community, where local people are trained to operate the systems without further external assistance. This method ensures that each project is appropriate and self-sustaining. Projects are conducted by student groups that are members of an EWB-USA chapter under the supervision of university faculty and professionals from partnering engineering firms. EWB-USA is also a member of the Engineers Without Borders - International network. For more information about EWB-USA, call 303-772-2723 or visit

About CH2M Hill
Based in Denver, CH2M HILL ( is an employee-owned global firm providing engineering, construction, operations and related technical services to public and private clients in numerous industries. The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of water, energy, environment, transportation, communications, construction and industrial facilities. With 2003 revenues of $3 billion, CH2M HILL has more than 14,000 employees working in local offices worldwide.


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