FAQ

Overall

1. What is ESW?

2. What sort of projects does ESW do?

3. How is ESW separate from Engineers Without Borders?

Membership

1. How do I become an ESW member?

2. What does it cost to be an ESW member?

3. Why join ESW?

Projects & Chapters

1. How do I start a chapter?

2. Does ESW have professional chapters?

Donations & Funding

1. Where does ESW receive its funding?

2. How can individuals make a contribution to ESW?


Overall

> What is ESW?

ESW stands for Engineers for a Sustainable World. We're a growing collection of technically-minded people looking to make the world a better place. Most of ESW's impact comes from projects done by its 40+ college-based chapters. In many ways, ESW-Headquarters's purpose is to connect those chapters, build a community for all members to interact, learn, and share project ideas, and bring in funding and other connections to help projects succeed.

> What sort of projects does ESW do?

Our projects are as diverse as our chapters. While in the early days we focused more on international projects - and many of our chapters still do - today we have an equally strong emphasis on our domestic and on-campus projects. While we think a sustainable world necessarily means that everyone in developing nations needs access to water, energy, and sanitation, we also see sustainability as a problem of improving our own communities - it's not only about bringing other countries up, it's also very much about reducing our own (much larger) per capita impacts, both with well known methods and through working on innovative solutions to problems. To that end, while we have chapters designing biodigesters and solar powered refrigerators, we also have chapters helping to educate local schools on stormwater management, working with local towns to redesign old buildings, and running on-campus energy competitions to teach students about the need for reduction and efficiency. For more on our projects, see our chapter directory!

How is ESW separate from Engineers without Borders (EWB)?

ESW and EWB were founded around the same time. However, ESW has a large number of chapters working here at home, in addition to chapters working abroad, and an emphasis primarily on sustainability. Second, we aim for building communities and helping with education, both on-campus and off, as much as we emphasize projects - there's a lot of information that needs to be available, and many people see communities as one of the keys to actually creating a sustainable world. Third, our chapters are significantly more autonomous - they're free to choose their own projects and activities, with suggestions and opportunities from ESW-HQ. This gives chapters the ability to work on as many projects as they have people for, and also means that ESW-HQ doesn't have to have a huge staff - we're a digital Leadership Team, something we find more sustainable both fiscally and environmentally.

Membership

> How do I become an ESW member?

Becoming an ESW member is quick, simple and worthwhile! See membership.

> What does it cost to be an ESW member?

There are three levels of membership:

  1. Professional/Faculty Member ($45 per year)

  2. At-Large Student Member ($10 per year)

  3. Chapter Membership for college chapters, allowing unlimited students at that school to register ($300 per year)

Please click here to learn more about ESW membership and its benefits.

> Why join ESW?

There are many benefits to ESW membership:

  • Get involved in projects at your university where you can personally make a positive impact on the world.
  • Access to jobs and other opportunities, as well as our webinar archive.
  • Be part of a movement to infuse sustainability knowledge into engineering education and practice.
  • Network with 1000+ other ESW members, from engineering students to educators to practicing professionals.
  • Discounts on events such as the ESW Annual National Conference, featuring speakers, workshops, and a plethora of amazing people.

 To see a full list of membership benefits, please click here.

Chapters & Projects

> How do I start a chapter?

See Start a Chapter.

> Does ESW have Professional chapters?

ESW is currently in the process of piloting professional chapters - we have three, around Boston, Albany (NY), and Houston. We're looking for more - if you're interested, check out our 'Starting a Chapter' page. Interested individuals can also join ESW as Professional Members and associate with a particular collegiate campus. You can also contact Nichole Heil for more information.

Donations & Funding

> Where does ESW receive its funding?

ESW is funded by member dues, individual donationscorporate sponsorships and partnerships, and conference registrations. Our 2013-2014 revenue was ~$35,000, equally divided between dues, donations/sponsorships, and registrations. See our Annual Report for full financial details. We have a very efficient operation for a global network, growing as we add more robust programs for our chapters and members.  We are a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, and donations are tax-deductable under US federal law. 

> How can individuals make a donation to ESW?

ESW exists with the support of individual contributions. Individuals can donate online through our website or make a donation directly to a collegiate chapter or for a particular chapter project.  Contact and project information for each chapter can be found here.