Founded in 2003, this year Engineers Without Borders – University of Bristol (EWB Bristol) is celebrating its 20th anniversary, making it the longest consecutively running Engineers Without Borders UK student Chapter. Hear from Chapter President, Isabel Dodd, about their achievements so far and what’s to come…

EWB Bristol runs a variety of events throughout the year, including our speaker series, outreach workshops in local schools, and monthly design challenges.

A key highlight in the calendar is our annual Designathon. Over the years, the theme has varied from “Solve the City,” which explored engineering challenges in cities throughout the world; to “Solve the Ocean”; and, this year, “Solve the Rainforest.”

This year’s 6-week Designathon challenged students to design innovative engineering solutions to the real threats faced by the Atlantic Rainforest in South America, an area with rich biodiversity that is highly vulnerable to human activities. The Designathon consisted of speaker events and a series of three lab workshops during which participants built their own prototypes. Students then presented their solutions to a judging panel, with a variety of prizes up for grabs for the winning teams.

A unique aspect of EWB Bristol is our Engenius podcast, founded in 2018 and run by students at the University of Bristol. Engenius interviews pioneering engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and innovators of today, discussing their motivations and the impact their work has on our lives and on our planet.

In addition to our engineering-focussed activities, we host a variety of socials throughout the year, including themed events for each season – notably our Gingerbread House Building Competition and Easter Egg Hunt. This year we also brought back a Chapter trip, having not run one since pre-covid. All of which have really helped to build a stronger community among our members, who come from a range of year groups and engineering disciplines.

This year, we are very grateful to have won both the “Society of the Month” and “Most Sustainable Society of the Year” awards from our Students’ Union for the work we’re doing. In the coming years, we would love to continue to expand the society and our reach in order to support our goal of promoting globally responsible engineering within the university community and beyond.

“I’m thrilled to see student society group, Engineers Without Borders – University of Bristol, is celebrating 20 years of activity! Their success is a testament to the passion, dedication and commitment of all those who have been part of this remarkable journey.

Engineers Without Borders Bristol inspired me when I studied engineering at Bristol from 2008-2012, and I’m delighted to witness how the society has evolved over time. Here’s to another 20 years of fun, community-building and inspiring more globally responsible engineers!”

– Emma Crichton, Innovation Director for Engineers Without Borders UK

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