Engineering student Fernando Rabell ’13 CE was seeking to “change the scope” through which he viewed things when he decided to travel to Bang Lung, Cambodia. Together with his team, Fernando spent time in this remote village, which is home to the Caramanico School. There, the students immersed themselves in the culture, identified the area’s needs (among them, a preschool), and worked with the community to determine how they might make a difference. Fernando was inspired to follow up on this experience by making the village’s desired preschool the focus of his senior capstone project.
A fortuitous encounter on the flight to Cambodia resulted in an exciting opportunity for Hillary Guardo ’13 ME. On that flight she met Len Austin, head of the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, which was established to address the critical issue of the country’s landmines and unexploded ordinances (UXOs). He invited her group to the Foundation’s test facility, and a relationship was quickly established. Excited by what she learned during that visit, and with funding from Golden West, Hillary chose to create for her senior design project a cost-effective, simply designed humanitarian robotics device for the clearing of UXOs.