Engineers Host Benefit Concert for Global Communities in Need

Dec. 2, 2009

Event: Students from the Cockrell School of Engineering will hold a benefit concert, featuring When the Lights Turn Red, to support water projects for rural communities in South America and Africa.

When: 6-11 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6.

Where: Cherrywood Coffeehouse, 1400 E 38th 1/2 St.

Background: Recognizing that nearly 20 percent of the world's population does not have access to clean water, engineering students from Projects for Underserved Communities, an innovative new course at The University of Texas at Austin, are bringing their passion and practical skills together to complete water projects in rural communities in Peru and Ghana.

Janet Ellzey, vice provost for international programs and mechanical engineering professor, and James O'Connor, the C. T. Wells Professor in Project Management, created the course to help students develop their engineering and leadership skills while providing much-needed services to communities throughout the world.

After three months evaluating nine proposals, the students selected two projects based on feasibility, risk and community impact. Working with community leaders, students from disciplines throughout engineering will develop water systems for 685 students at a school in the village of Patriensa, Ghana and 500 students at a school in Santa Cruz, Peru.

The students are seeking donations of funding, airline mileage, time and technical expertise. Tickets are $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit Concert for a Cause online.

For more information, contact: Christian Clarke Casarez, director of international public affairs;  Becky Rische, Institute for Computational Engineering and Science, 512-471-4978.