Innovation for the Philippines!
WOW! We did not expect this much support from everyone that has donated so far!! Please check the update above and we'll be continuing this project much further!
Our names from left to right are Joel Sanchez, Chris Yang, Lamees Alkhamis, Jeniene Abugherir, and Colin Eckerle.
We are a senior design team, which consists of chemical and environmental engineers from the University of California, Riverside, and we have partnered with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and International Deaf Education Association (IDEA) to provide a better quality of life to the community of Bohol in the Philippines.
In 2013, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the island of Bohol, located in the Philippines. The earthquake left devastation in its wake, destroying numerous homes on the Island. In response to the natural disaster, IDEA, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that has been headquartered in Bohol for over 30 years, took on the initiative to bring relief efforts to the thousands of people whose homes were lost. Employing several teams specializing in construction and trained at their deaf education schools, IDEA began gathering and assembling building materials used in the construction of temporary housing. Currently, IDEA uses coconut wood boards as a lightweight construction material. However, complications occurred when damage from termites rendered the shelters inhabitable. Termites are widespread on the island of Bohol and the coconut wood huts are estimated to last, on average, about two years. Because of the remarkably short lifespan of shelters, the devastating and lasting impacts of the earthquake and the damage caused by frequent tropical storms, IDEA has struggled to keep up with relief efforts in Bohol. IDEA has identified its need for a new economical and sustainable building material and our design team along with EWB have decided to partner to find a solution. Thus, the search for a termite-resistant and water-resistant structural material, which is indigenous to the region, is needed. Our task is to use rice husks along with an adhesive, which we have created, to produce medium-density particleboards that will meet these requirements.
We are greatly interested in this cause due to the nature of the problem in hand. We believe in using our technical backgrounds to create sustainable shelters, which will be eco-friendly, and easily to produce. Part of the money that will be raised will be used to fund the travel of one or two members of our team to travel to the Philippines and acclimate to the conditions that are present in Bohol and to present IDEA with our findings. This trip is expected to happen within the next year but we are also in need of funds for materials and chemicals. In addition, it will be used to fund our travel to New Mexico when we will be competing with our design project at the national level.
We greatly appreciate any help we receive and looking forward to making great progress in our project for a better world!
Here we are setting termite traps with Dr. Rust for our bio-assays for termite testing!