Western Nevada College students aim to help hurricane survivors | NevadaAppeal.com

Western Nevada College students aim to help hurricane survivors

Nevada Appeal staff report

Engineering design students at WNC work on a prototype for a water filter the students built to benefit Puerto Ricans struggling to recover after Hurricane Maria.

Western Nevada College students used the knowledge and skills they learned in class to help Puerto Ricans who were devastated by Hurricane Maria, the powerful storm that struck the island in September.

The engineering design students are part of a fundamental engineering class taught by Lior Singer, an Israeli engineer who moved to Nevada.

Singer said before coming to Nevada he worked as a water engineer in a refugee camp operated by the UNHCR in Kenya.

"One of the values I try to instill in future engineers is to use the knowledge they have to help communities in need," Singer said. "I suggested the idea of making their final project to be about helping the people of Puerto Rico. The students took it to the next level."

The students researched and identified the problems in Puerto Rico after the hurricane disaster. Then they designed several solutions and even built a prototype.

Many of the solutions were related to providing safe drinking water, energy to hospitals and communication and sharing of survival skills.

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Singer said he plans on continuing the project next semester.

"Hopefully we can find some funding in order to take their designs to the next step of implementing the solutions for the recovery of Puerto Rico," Singer said. "But for sure we have met one big goal, inspiring a new generation of engineers to have a passion for humanitarian work."