Late last month a team of eight volunteers from consultant Arup flew out to Rwanda to help build the first bridge to use new software aimed at developing nations.
Arup conceived the software in conjunction with non-profit organisation Bridges to Prosperity, which works to overcome rural isolation by building footbridges.
Structural engineer Kayin Dawoodi and civil engineer Phil Borowiec developed the software, which speeds up design of pedestrian bridges in developing nations.
It can run on any laptop and bases designs on locally available or off-the-shelf materials and aims to be a learning resource to teach and train engineers in rurally isolated communicates worldwide.
The Rwandan bridge was officially inaugurated earlier this month. Dawoodi and Borowiec led the team in Rwanda.
“It’s incredibly exciting and rewarding to see the bridge being built and the local people so excited about its completion,” said Dawoodi. “We are so proud to have the opportunity to use our training to develop this software and hope to see it used more widely in South and Central America, Africa and Asia.
“It is a great example of how low cost technology can truly help shape a better world and improve the quality of life for isolated, communities,” added Borowiec. “As engineers we do believe in the greater good for all and this project is an incredible way to help meet societal need and instigate change.”