Monday April 16, 2018

Bringing the Light

The gift of light is transformative. It brings hope and opportunity to communities without a reliable source of electricity.

That’s why the University of Dayton’s ETHOS Center has partnered with SonLight Power, a Cincinnati-based non-profit, to train and send engineering graduate students to install life-changing solar arrays on community venues. 

This year, seven graduate students in the mechanical engineering and renewable and clean energy programs will travel to Haiti to install solar energy systems on two medical clinics: a school and a hotel that specialize in hosting international mission teams. Once the systems are installed, residents and local partners will be trained to maintain and care for them.

This opportunity, offered through the Graduate Service Program, is an extension of the ETHOS Center’s work over the past 17 years. The program, started by engineering students, promotes the service-learning aspect of engineering through technical immersions, student activities, research and hands-on projects. Since its founding in 2001, ETHOS has sent 330 students to 20 countries, and their programming has expanded to include domestic immersions, graduate immersions, a semester of service and short-term service opportunities.

The ETHOS Center (Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service Learning) provides service-learning experiences through technical immersions, student activities, research and hands-on projects. Through these experiences, students gain perspectives on how engineering and technology are influenced by the world. They use their engineering skills for humanitarian purposes and serve others through their practical engineering knowledge as well as learn about the world, different cultures and themselves.

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