“Traveling to Panama with EWB-RPI was a life-changing experience for me,” said Tom Rebbecchi ’16, a materials science and engineering major who serves as the organization’s professional liaison, and is the former vice president. Rebbecchi, who hails from Cherry Hill, N.J., noted that the trip to Panama was his first time out of the country.
“After three years of involvement with the project, it was amazing to finally experience the culture of the Ngäbe people firsthand by living on Isla Popa II for over a week,” Rebbecchi said. “I was proud to apply my engineering knowledge to deliver a system that will improve the lives of countless people. During construction of our system, I was happy to learn more efficient construction techniques from the men in the community. From long days of work in the mud with my teammates to hiking through rainforests, the experiences I gained during this trip will stay with me for the rest of my life. EWB-RPI’s work is great for students who want the opportunity to engage in engineering service work and have the opportunity to travel.”
According to Rebbecchi, the January trip served as the initial implementation trip that was critical in determining the success of the team’s designs and earning the respect of the community members.
Read more at RPI News.
The Archimedeans are an honorific society local to Rensselaer. The Archimedean program serves engage Rensselaer’s highest achieving students by exposing them to myriad opportunities for academic and personal exploration. The program is overseen by the Student Experience Office with support from office across the Division of Student Life and in collaboration with Undergraduate Education.