2016 Project Summary – Patzula, Guatemala

21 October 2016

This year we, the University of Toronto Chapter of Bridges to Prosperity, completed our first bridge project in partnership with Engineers Without Borders and the Bridges to Prosperity head office. Our bridge was a 33.8m suspended footbridge in the community of Patzula Guatemala, serving a community of over 330 residents including 45 school children. This bridge provided the community with crucial access to education, health care and business opportunities.

Our chapter began design in April 2016 with the review and assistance of the head office’s Technical Advisory Board. In July, with the design complete, a group of 6 University of Toronto students flew to Patzula to work on the construction of the project. During this time, the community members of Patzula were fantastic hosts, allowing us to stay in their school and use the kitchen there as well. The community was also incredibly dedicated to the project, sending 20 men to work every day, helping to ensure that we could finish the project on schedule. The bridge was built in just over two weeks to a very high standard of quality. The community was so thrilled when the bridge was open they hosted a day long party including speeches from local officials, traditional Mayan dancing and the blessing and ribbon cutting for the new bridge!

Every member of the University of Toronto team was able to grow their engineering skills during this project, we had a chance to be a part of every aspect of the design and construction of the project from excavations to bridge decking and fencing. It was also a great opportunity to practice Spanish and learn how to communicate and work together with a community in a foreign country.

During this exciting and challenging project, our travel team rapidly learned a variety of new skills including:

  • Project Management through the bridge project process
  • Structural Design through the initial bridge design and on-site modifications
  • People Management by working with local labour in a different country and language
  • On-site safety inspection and enforcement through standard PPE training, working at heights and construction safety training
  • Logistics Skills through coordination of material and travel

We are very proud of the whole team and their ability to address the variety of unique challenges that came up during construction including variations from the site survey and working with different material suppliers. Overall this trip provided all of the students not only the chance to learn from experienced engineers but also to learn and develop skills that can’t be learned in the classroom. This first project was part of our chapter’s biggest growth year yet and the team is continuing to build its capacity to be able to complete a footbridge project every summer.

B2P Presents: Building Olympic Venues

B2P Presents: Mike Jacobs

B2P Presents is B2P's speaker series. Join us for our fall event this Wednesday, November 11 at 6 PM in BA1210 for an informative talk by B2P UofT's technical advisor, Mike Jacobs, P.Eng. Mike Jacobs is the President and CEO of Emil Anderson Construction and will speak of the construction of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics venues, including the bobsled track and the ski jump.

Specialist Applications now Open

13 September 2015

Are you interested in getting involved with B2P this year? Then apply to be a B2P specialist! Specialists work to aid our executive team to help us accomplish our mission.

If you want to learn more about what we do come out to our Annual General Meeting this Wednesday September 16 at 6:30 in BA 1210!

Specialist position descriptions can be found here.

The application can be found here.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 PM on Wednesday September 23.

Update from Bolivia: Week 1

31 August 2015

Here's a quick update from our Captains in Bolivia:

“Lots of work this week to get the project back on schedule after some rain delays. The 3 tier tower on the low side is finished! 4.5 metres of stone and concrete including the foundation. The foundation on the high side is finished and we will be working on the first tier Monday and Tuesday. The next step after that is the anchors and the approach, which involves a lot more rock and some digging. We should hopefully get the cables set before our time in Bolivia is finished”

Stay tuned for more updates!

And they're off!

22 August 2015

We are excited to announce that our travel team is on their way to Chimore, Bolivia as of 10 AM today, August 22. They will be staying for around three weeks. We have heard news of recent heavy rain that has caused some delays but we think that the team will be up to the challenge! Stay tuned as more updates come available!

Message from the Presidents: Year in Review and New Goals

17 August 2015

Summer 2015 marks the end of the first year of Bridges to Prosperity at University of Toronto – and what a prolific year it has been!

Our team partnered with the B2P chapter at the University of Waterloo to build our first bridge located in the Chimore community in Bolivia. The entire process, from planning and design to construction, has been an enriching experience for our team and will undoubtedly be valuable for our future endeavours. To complete the experience, two students from our chapter will be in Chimore for three weeks at the end of August to take part in the construction of the bridge.

In addition to our project in Bolivia, we introduced several on-campus initiatives to enhance the student experience, including hosting UofT’s first bridge building competition with CSCE, competing at the Troitsky competition in Montreal, and a speaker series inviting experienced global development workers to share their stories with students.

The summer also marks the beginning of a new year where we hope to be ever more impactful as Engineers for the world! Our goals for 2015/16 are to:

  • Complete our first independent Bridges to Prosperity University of Toronto bridge project with a travel team consisting of eight students from our chapter
  • Continue and further develop our engaging and educational on-campus initiatives
  • Have wider impact by reaching the community at-large with our events

Our executive team has been working tirelessly to prepare for successful year, and we hope that you want to be part of it.

Together, let’s build to educate, innovate, and inspire!

Brandon and He

Bridges to Prosperity
University of Toronto

Welcome to our Webpage

17 August 2015

Welcome to our new webpage. Here we will provide you with updates from our bridge project, event announcements, media galleries, and much more! You can also find information about the team and our sponsors. Make sure to check out our Facebook page and Twitter to stay updated on all things B2P-UofT!