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NDSEED Awarded at the 2018 Engineers In Action Conference

Written by: Allison Preston

Eight members of the NDSEED team arrived at the Notre Dame campus late Sunday night feeling both exhausted and inspired, having just returned from a long weekend in Boulder, CO for the 2018 Engineers in Action (EIA) Bridge Builder Conference. The goal of the conference was to prepare the NDSEED team for their upcoming trip to Mallkuchusi, Bolivia in the summer of 2019. There, the team will spend eight weeks constructing a pedestrian bridge for an underserved community, providing them with access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities located on the opposite side of an impassable river.

The 2018-2019 NDSEED travel team on the beautiful CU Boulder campus. From left: Back Row: Safety Manager Joe Trzaska, Construction Manager Sebastian Echeandia, Community Engagement Lead Gonzi Mallea, Bridge Engineer Chad Quick. Front Row: Quality Control Manager Maggie Schwarz, Project Manager Brittany Margritz, Business Manager Mary K Wentzel, Research Lead Lily Rodriguez.


In order to prepare themselves for this feat, the team attended a variety of conference sessions to help them prepare for both their experience in-country and for their work in the 2018-2019 school year when the team will conduct all the essential planning required for a project of this caliber. Topics at the conference included on-site safety, community relations and outreach, fundraising strategies, technical design, and construction workshops.

At the conference, the team also networked with other EIA university chapters from across the country, heard stories from past experiences in the field, and presented research focusing on community engagement and education while in-country. Most importantly, they accepted the EIA award for Bridge Builder Team of the Year on behalf of the 2017-2018 NDSEED team for their work on an extraordinarily difficult site that changed only two months before they were scheduled to leave. Members of the 2017-2018 team include Christianos Burlotos, Meg Tucker, Alex Bonino, Annie Nagel, Patrick Yerkes, Camila Gonzalez Flores, Kaci Heneghan, and Elisa Benitez.


For more information about NDSEED, and to see photos of past projects visit their website: