----- Forwarded message from [log in to unmask] -----
     Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 10:47:14 -0700
     From: Tracy Beavers <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Tracy Beavers <[log in to unmask]>
  Subject: Engineers WIthout Borders - USA Communtiy Newsletter December
       To: [log in to unmask]

December 2007

  Peter J Bosscher

  &ldquo;Clearly he was a person that impacted many peoples' lives and  
will be greatly missed.&rdquo; ~ Andrew Heydinger, University of Toledo

  When Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Peter J. Bosscher  
was young, his family provided him opportunities to participate in  
projects involving care for children in inner cities, recycling, and  
teaching English to Vietnamese refugees.
  Throughout his life, he has continued such activities and today, as  
the founder and advisor of UW-Madison&rsquo;s chapter of Engineers  
Without Borders (EWB), Bosscher used that instilled sense of social  
integrity and responsibility to educate engineering students about the  
global effects of their work. &ldquo;Just doing the best technology is  
not sufficient,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You have to think about larger  
  The group, he said, provides students with a new context in which to  
do engineering in which they have to think outside the boxes of the  
developed world. &ldquo;At the same time, it brings good things to the  
lives of the people in the communities in which they&rsquo;re  
working,&rdquo; said Bosscher.&rdquo;
  For the past three summers, he and other EWB members have traveled  
to the war-torn African country of Rwanda to help residents build  
sustainable basic infrastructure systems, including a gravity-fed  
system that supplies water for Muramba, a community of about 9,000  
villagers and 3,000 schoolchildren. The group added water sources to  
community, improved the quantity of water, and improved the quality of  
water through solar pasteurization. Members demonstrated solar food  
cookers (a simple box lined with aluminum foil and covered with  
glass&mdash;a system that takes advantage of the area&rsquo;s high  
altitude and intense sunlight) and showed residents how to make fuel  
out of discarded organic materials like paper and garden waste. They  
also helped to open markets for Rwandan products such as handcrafts,  
baskets and artwork.
  Bosscher encouraged his students to consider the societal, ethical,  
environmental, economical and other impacts of the products they  
engineer. There are products, he said, for the developed world.  
&ldquo;But I think we&rsquo;ll have a much larger impact for the  
plight of those five billion poor people who truly need the products  
we have at the moment,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not like  
we&rsquo;re developing brand-new technologies. We&rsquo;re literally  
bringing the very simplest, but the most profound, gifts to them that  
we can: gifts of clean water, clean air, health, diminishment of  
deforestation, transportation, markets for their products&mdash;the  
very basics of life. To sort of ignore that and just continue to live  
in our own small worlds, where resources are plentiful&mdash;I think  
that is not a sustainable or just practice.&rdquo;

  Community EWB-USA
  1811 Lefthand Circle, Suite A-1
  Longmont, CO 80503

  Engineers Without Borders - USA 2008 International Conference
  March 27-30, 2008
  University of Washington, Seattle
  Seattle University
  EWB-USA Puget Sound Professional Chapter

      Dear Members and Friends,
  On Sunday morning, November 18, 2007, our dear friend and colleague,  
Peter Bosscher passed away. In addition to serving on the EWB-USA  
Governing Board, Peter was a much-loved teacher at the University of  
Wisconsin &ndash; Madison and the advisor to the EWB-USA chapter  
there. Peter was an inspiration to us all with his compassion, his  
generosity, his enthusiasm, and his spirit. He will be sadly missed  
here at EWB-USA and in the communities in which he served.
  Father John Bosco, formerly of Muramba, Rwanda, remembered Peter in  
this way, &ldquo;It was inspiring to see Peter, a high profile person  
always seated on the verandah in a yoga style every morning reading  
his Bible&hellip;. He was a man with a big heart of mercy. He always  
talked about eradicating greed, arrogance and illiteracy to pave the  
way for sustainable development.&rdquo;
  The Peter J. Bosscher Engineers Without Borders Fund has been  
established at the University of Wisconsin Foundation. Contributions  
may be sent to the UW Foundation, 1848 University Ave., Madison, WI,  
53708-8860 with the fund name noted. The fund will follow the mission  
embraced by Peter by assisting disadvantaged communities improve their  
quality of life through implementation of environmentally and  
economically sustainable engineering projects, while developing  
internationally responsible engineering students.
  Please join me in expressing our condolences to Peter&rsquo;s family  
and friends. He leaves behind him an inspiration for us all and we  
will miss him.
  Cathy Leslie
  Executive Director

As I sat listening to presentations by some engineering student  
organizations my freshman year, I knew this presentation was  
different. Instead of offering free food at every meeting or a great  
connections to industry (which are all great of course), I knew right  
away this organization called &ldquo;Engineers Without Borders&rdquo;  
had depth. The speaker, Professor Bosscher, talked of actually making  
a difference in the world, using our engineering gifts sacrificially  
to help out in places from Rwanda to El Salvador to right here in  
Madison. Planning to go into Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics  
and work for NASA, I didn&rsquo;t really see how this fit in to my  
major, but it challenged my mindset as an engineer about how we use  
our knowledge and what impact we will have in our future. Peter's talk  
my freshman year had been tugging at me for the past two years.  He  
reminded me to keep in mind the face of the people you are helping and  
sustaining the beauty of creation. At the end of the conversation he  
added that he would be teaching an Engineering Sustainability class in  
the spring, a polite invitation for the next step in the journey.
  Many people call him Professor Bosscher or even Peter, but within  
EWB people sometime call him the &ldquo;Miracle Man&rdquo;. Always  
calm and full of wisdom even in the worst projects, his presence  
always seemed to make projects work out. ~ Kevin Orner, EWB-WI, Madison

Kevin and I went over to visit the morning of Friday, November 16 - 36  
hours before he died. We knew his health was declining rapidly, so we  
planned to say our goodbyes. Even though he had great difficulty  
speaking, he still wanted to know how the el salvador project was  
going. He asked probing questions about our progress, about where we  
were having trouble, and he recommended actions we should take and  
people we should contact to get help. This didn't surprise me - it's  
totally in Peter's character - but it makes me admire him all the more  
that in his final hours he's still trying to get things done and build  
God's kingdom. We took the time to express our heart felt thanks for  
all he's taught us. I told him he was the greatest teacher I'd ever  
had. We told him what a large hole he was leaving behind in the hearts  
of his family, friends, and students, to which he wryly replie d  
"Well, there's nothing I can do about that". He kept his sense of  
humor right up until the end. ~Jonathan Blanchard, EWB-UW Madison

  To recognize his work in sustainable engineering around the world,  
the College of Engineering awarded Bosscher its Ragnar E. Onstad  
Service to Society Award this May. His EWB group also received the  
Mondialogo Engineering Award for their work in Rwanda. This award is  
part of a joint initiative for the promotion of intercultural  
dialogue, launched in October of 2003 by UNESCO and DaimlerChrysler.   
Young engineers from developing and developed countries were invited  
to form teams and cooperate through intercultural dialogue towards the  
development of project proposals addressing Millennium Development  
Goals, particularly those of poverty eradication and sustainable  

Sent By:
Engineers Without Borders - USA
1811 Lefthand Circle, Suite A-1
Longmont CO  80503

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