International Service Project - India

The team evaluates project sites

College of Engineering students first traveled to Wayanad, India over winter break 2013-2014.  Working closely with Profugo, a non-profit organization involved in international development, the team’s first objective was to assess the Prashanthagiri community’s engineering-related needs. The design and construction of a bio-gas digester, rainwater harvesting, and alternative energy were among the long-term sustainable engineering projects identified. 

Maura Daugherty ’17 ChE and Aisling Brennan ’14 ChE pose with Karthik Reghunath from the Government Engineering College and one of the children from the community
Maura Daugherty ’17 ChE and Aisling Brennan ’14 ChE pose with Karthik Reghunath from the Government Engineering College and one of the children from the community

During their time in Wayanad, Villanova students and faculty also met with the Indian Government College of Engineering, which is trying to initiate an engineering service group of its own. Villanova students shared a presentation on water quality testing and introduced the Wayanad students to water filtration and maintaining the cleanliness of wells. Villanovans then worked with the Wayanad college students to assist Profugo with a water quality workshop. While in India, Villanova engineering students created a how-to manual for water-quality testing, and had the manual translated into Malayalam, the local language. With the help of this manual, members of the community can regulate their own wells using equipment made available through Profugo.

Reflection on India
by Donovan Driscoll ’15 ME

Four college students traveling to an unfamiliar place halfway around the world with no understanding of the indigenous language might be a bit nerve racking for some; but not for these travelers. We were willing to fully immerse ourselves in the Indian culture, and we did just that with the help of Villanova alumni and current Profugo field fellow, Tyler Casteel ’13 Ch.

As engineering students, our primary purpose for the voyage to Wayanad, India was to evaluate the technical projects the College could undertake in this remote region. However, this trip quickly became far more than simply an engineering jaunt. Our journey provided the perfect balance of engineering, interaction with the wonderful Prashanthagiri community, and exploring all the beautiful sites surrounding Wayanad.

Read more of Donovan’s reflection on his experience in India.