The Engineers Without Borders-USA National Conference: What to Expect and Why you Should Attend

EWB builds a better world, one community at a time.

What to Expect (Organization)

  • It is in a hotel.
  • There will be about 600 people there, about half of whom are students or young professionals.
  • It costs about $300, depending on how early you register, and if you have a student discount.
  • There are workshops before and sometimes after the conference, which cost extra, but are a good value, in our experience.
  • The conference is usually two days. At any point in time, there will be about 4 tracks going on in different rooms. Choosing which track to attend carefully will amplify your experience; we’ll say more about this below.
  • There is something like a dance-party with snacks and a cash bar the final night.
  • The lodging expense is significant. Quite often lodging has more affordable student rates. One can sometimes split a room with someone to get three nights for approx $175 a person.
  • The vibe is fun, but relatively sober and service-oriented.

What to Expect (Experience)

How to Maximize Your Experience

  • One water/sanitation talk.
  • One electrical power talk.
  • One structural engineering talk.
  • One talk about running a chapter.
  • One talk about culture (either EWB culture, safety, or in-country culture).
  • One or more case studies of actual projects.

Who Should Attend

  • You are a student who has never been to any kind of conference and want a new experience.
  • You are an EWB member motivated by seeing the bigger picture.
  • You have questions on how to improve your chapter.
  • You are looking for a job and can afford it.
  • Your local chapter feels isolated and has not sent people to the conference before.
  • You are not a member of EWB-USA but want to know if it is a good fit for you and you can afford the time and travel.
  • You are a faculty member or professional considering starting a chapter of EWB-USA in your locality.
  • You are looking for highly technical talks.
  • You just want to party.
  • You are not intrigued by the mission of Engineers Without Borders.




Public Inventor. Founder of Public Invention. Co-founder of @18F. Presidential Innovation Fellow. Agilist. PhD Comp. Sci. Amateur mathematician.

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Robert L. Read

Robert L. Read

Public Inventor. Founder of Public Invention. Co-founder of @18F. Presidential Innovation Fellow. Agilist. PhD Comp. Sci. Amateur mathematician.

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