20th February 2018

In addition to our Outreach ambassadors and international engineers, our movement also relies on a group of dedicated and skilful mentors to support our engineers during their deployment. One relationship in particular proved fruitful this year: 

Our mentor programme is an important way of engaging our skilled community in the engineering work that our volunteers undertake during their placements in Asia, Latin America and Africa. During the 2017-18 cycle, 18 of our volunteers were matched with 18 dedicated mentors who were chosen by the volunteers specifically due to their experience and relevance to their projects. Our mentors come from a range of backgrounds but they are all experienced engineers who are willing to give their time and technical knowledge to our volunteers.  

Amongst the many successful mentoring relationships during 2017, the relationship between our international engineer volunteer Ben Cowley and his UK-based mentor Tessa Gough was effective in sharing knowledge, cultural insights and experience of working with community-owned water systems in the Philippines. Tessa, a hydrogeologist with the Environment Agency, supported Ben with his project with our partner SIBAT to develop, design and fabricate hydraulic ram pumps for irrigation. Using emails and Skype, Tessa shared valuable information and engineering support to Ben, which improved the progress of his project in Tarlac, in the Philippines.

“Prior to my departure, Tessa provided a number of technical resources which enhanced my knowledge of the WASH sector in developing countries. I was able to directly apply this information in my design and fabrication of Hydraulic Ram Pumps in the Philippines.” Ben Cowley, Mentee.

“After several years of working internationally I have returned to the UK for personal reasons. Although I can no longer travel, I wanted to support volunteers in field and being a mentor with Engineers Without Borders UK offered this opportunity.” Tessa Gough, Mentor.

Thank you to Tessa for her time and we look forward to seeing more successful mentoring relationship with the 2018 volunteers. If you are an experienced engineer who can dedicate a few hours per month to support our international volunteers please apply to become an Engineers Without Borders UK Mentor.  Apply by Sunday 25 March 2018.


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