As part of National Engineering Month, which is celebrated in March, the Student Newsletter will talk to you about social commitment, using the example of an international cooperation project: orchard irrigation in Notatinga, Burkina Faso.

This Ingénieurs sans frontières Québec (ISFQ, or the Québec Chapter of Engineers Without Borders) project is being carried out by engineering students and professionals.

Dominic Nappert, a 3rd-year agri-environmental engineering student at Université Laval, tells us more about it.

What exactly will this entire project entail?
Pre-departure – Before going into the field, where we will be from June to August 2018, there are 6 months of preparation. For this project to be a success, we need to acquire and analyze a large quantity of data, plan out the logistics, and search for funding during that time. The funding we obtain will determine what we are able to accomplish in the field.

In the field – Our field mission will be to supervise the drilling phase, the construction of a water tank, and the installation of a solar-powered pump and photovoltaic systems. Part of our on-site work will also involve providing technical training to local partners, raising their awareness of long-term hydraulic infrastructure maintenance issues and creating a water management committee composed of farmers.

What would you tell your classmates or young people to encourage them to get socially involved, like you?
Go for it, don’t hesitate! Although getting involved means spending a lot of time and energy on what we do, it’s really worth it, and that's for sure. You will learn to work in new conditions, with people from totally different cultures, develop a network and get closer to people. You will get to know amazing, passionate and determined individuals. It is an EXTREMELY ENRICHING experience.
What inspires you about National Engineering Month?
For me, it is a wonderful opportunity to meet people from the field and talk to them about their experiences. In the ISFQ’s ESQICI program, it's like March all year round!

The ISFQ team in Notatinga has 6 cooperants:   

Dominic Nappert, a 3rd-year agri-environmental engineering student at Université Laval.
Fréderica Laprise-Roy, a 2nd-year civil engineering student at Université Laval.
Cindy Larocque, a geological engineer who graduated from Université Laval in 2010 (and is now studying for an MBA at Université Laval)
Aude Thomas de La Pintiere, an energy systems engineer from the École polytechnique de l'Université d'Orléans with a master’s degree from the École de technologie supérieure de Montréal (ETS) that she obtained in 2016.
Claudie L'Allier, a civil junior engineer who graduated from Polytechnique in 2017.
Guillaume Joly, a 2nd-year industrial engineering student at Polytechnique.

To find out more about the orchard irrigation project in Notatinga, watch for the upcoming May-June 2018 issue of PLAN, which will be on line on May 1.