News & Events
Engineers Without Borders Founding President Bernard Amadei Receives Clarkson University Honorary Degree
[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/bamadei2.jpg.]
Bernard Amadei, the founding president of Engineers Without Borders - USA and the co-founder of the Engineers Without Borders-International network, received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University's 118th Commencement today.
He is a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he holds the Mortenson Endowed Chair in Global Engineering. He is also the faculty director of the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities at CU Boulder.
The degree was awarded for his "his remarkable vision and his pioneering approach to educating globally responsible engineers for the future and his passionate commitment to sustainability and steadfast belief in the use of technology to improve and serve humanity; and for his scholarly achievements in the fields of rock mechanics and engineering geology.”
In addressing the Class of 2011, Amadei said, "Now that you have had that taste of education, now that your journey into the world is starting I am going to ask you to think about your responsibility especially to the world. With great power comes great responsibility. I want you to think about how you can make the world a better place. I want you to think about how you are going to make this world more sustainable. What is a sustainable world? Well, a sustainable world is a world that is equitable. It is a world that is compassionate and more importantly it is a world that is made peaceful.
"I know for sure that the engineering profession has to do something about really making the world a better place. It is no longer an option for us. It is an obligation. Not only for engineers, but for everyone on this planet.
"My assignment for you is to find your mission statement in life. My assignment for you is to find your unique gift in life. What is that gift that the Divine gave you so that you can make the world a better place? So over the next few weeks, or over the next 30 years, 40 years, 50 years -- whatever you have -- please sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and among friends and write down your mission statement . What are you here to do? I don’t know a single company that does not have a mission statement. Write your mission statement. Find your gift. And walk that gift. Make that gift a reality."
Amadei is a passionate advocate for applying sustainable solutions to worldwide problems and a visionary who has harnessed the power of engineering to improve the living conditions of people throughout the world.
In so doing, he has helped redefine engineering as a catalyst for international development, and revolutionized engineering education by promoting service learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels and training global engineers to improve our world’s future.
Engineers without Borders – USA (EWB-USA) helps create a more stable and prosperous world by providing necessities such as clean water, power, sanitation and education. The organization was created in 2001 by Amadei after he and eight engineering students worked with the community of San Pablo, Belize, on a sustainable and low-cost project to bring clean drinking water to the village by installing a clean water system powered by a local waterfall.
The Clarkson student chapter of EWB recently worked to find solutions for unclean drinking water in an Ecuadorian village.
EBW-USA has since grown to 12,000 members in 250 chapters, including university chapters on 180 campuses. The organization currently has over 350 projects related to water, renewable energy, sanitation and more in over 45 developing countries around the world. All projects are completed in partnership with local communities and NGOs. In 2004, he co-founded Engineers Without Borders-International network, which facilitates collaboration, information exchange and assistance among its member groups.
An accomplished scholar, Amadei has co-authored two books and approximately 160 technical papers, most notably in the fields of rock mechanics and engineering geology.
The Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities at UC-Boulder, which Amadei directs, educates globally responsible engineering students and professionals who can offer sustainable and appropriate solutions to the endemic problems faced by developing communities worldwide.
A native of Roubaix, France, Amadei earned a master of science from the University of Toronto in 1979 and was awarded a doctorate in civil engineering in 1982 from the University of California, Berkeley.
Among his numerous distinctions, Amadei is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.