CSU engineers win top prize in national competition for Belize project
It’s a school. It’s a hurricane shelter. And it’s the winner of the $25,000 grand prize in a national engineering competition.
An innovative dual-use structure in the Central American nation of Belize, designed and built by an engineering team from Cleveland State University, won the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying’s 2013 Award for Connecting Professional Practice and Education.
Students from the CSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders worked closely alongside CSU faculty, professional engineers and allied professionals on the school and hurricane shelter, which opened last year in the rural community of August Pine Ridge. NCEES judges praised the project for demonstrating the value of collaboration.
“It was a great feeling when it was all done and we cut the ribbon,” said project manager and project engineer Richard Obratil, former president of CSU’s Engineers Without Borders. “It really was a great collaborative effort by all involved. In the end, this building is a monument to the collective efforts of a lot of people from a lot of different walks of life. Everyone pulled together to do something good for the community.”