International Service Project - Cambodia

Service Learning - Cambodia
Alexander Poultney ’14 ME and Gregory Campbell ’14 ME review their prototype’s performance.

A fortuitous encounter with Len Austin, head of the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, on a flight to Cambodia in 2012, has evolved into a partnership with exciting opportunities for Villanova mechanical engineering students. The organization, which was founded in 1998 to address the critical issue of Cambodia’s landmines and unexploded ordinances (UXOs), has involved our students in a Removal and Abatement Engineering Education program through which they are working on the technology—a UXO humanitarian robot—for explosive ordnance clearance and disposal. Students are challenged with the realities of product design, sustainability, infrastructure and economics in a developing country. 

Serivce Learning - Cambodia
Alexander Poultney ’14 ME discusses the robot prototype with Allen Tan, manager of the Golden West office in Cambodia.

Since establishing the partnership with Golden West, which includes funding for our service learning program, several Villanova students have traveled to Cambodia to work directly with the foundation. They have then formed teams with their mechanical engineering classmates to develop a UXO robot as their senior capstone design project. The following years’ teams try to improve upon the previous prototype.

Garrett Clayton, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has lead numerous groups of students on this project. 

Learn More

For more information or to help support international service projects, contact Director Jordan Ermilio at or 610-519-6859. You can also make a donation through the University website, designating your gift to “Engineering Service Learning.”