LSU Engineers Work to Rebuild Community

LSU College of Engineering students pride themselves on providing real world solutions to today’s societal issues. During the Thanksgiving season, a group of student volunteers joined forces with other volunteers on Saturday, November 22 to give back to the community through the annual Project Rebuild (formerly Geaux Build) day of service.

Each fall, volunteers from engineering organizations throughout the state of Louisiana come together to assist the local chapter of Rebuilding Together with home improvement projects for elderly and disabled Louisianans. Over 100 students and seasoned professionals worked side-by-side to help elderly persons throughout the Baton Rouge area stay safe and warm in their homes this winter. Rebuilding Together’s Executive Director, Chris Andrews, expressed gratitude for the students’ efforts.

“The students were divided into work crews, and they handled seven projects for the day,” explained Andrews. “The work involved painting, plumbing and carpentry. Overall, they did a splendid job!”

The first annual Project Rebuild was hosted by the LSU chapters of Engineers Without Borders USA, Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute for Chemical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Association of Drilling Engineers, Engineering College Council, and ProSys, Incorporated.

Engineers Without Borders LSU Student Chapter President Courtney Irwin, who was one of Project Rebuild’s organizers, is proud of the work she and her fellow students accomplished.

“Approximately 100 engineering students from all disciplines and year classifications participated in the Project Rebuild event at seven sites around Baton Rouge,” said Courtney Irwin, president, Engineers Without Borders, LSU Student Chapter. “The goal of the event is to get engineering students, faculty, alumni, and industry representatives together on one day to make an impact in the community in which we live, study, and work. It was extremely rewarding to see the efforts of our planning team come to fruition and make a difference in the lives of the homeowners the students worked with. I am very excited to see what can be accomplished for next year's event with more industry involvement, and what can be accomplished for future events with the new opportunities for student leadership and collaboration in the new building.”

The training students receive at the College helps prepare them for hands-on work on ventures like Project Rebuild. In addition to coursework, students have opportunities for field experience through various internships with top firms. The new engineering campus will give students greater avenues to synthesize those experiences and create even more opportunities for service.

Engineering Council President Eryn Short, who recently completed an internship with The Dow Chemical Company, is excited about the new space.

“The Student Leadership Center, funded by Dow Chemical in the renovated Patrick F. Taylor Hall will enhance collaboration among engineering student organizations,” said Eryn. “Having a space to meet and work together will encourage the planning of academic and community endeavors similar to Project Rebuild.” 

LSU’s College of Engineering faculty and staff work to foster a sense of stewardship in their students. Their training as engineers, computer scientists and construction managers equips them with a valuable skill set in today’s STEM-driven economy, but it also enables them to contribute to the community in a unique way. Through events like Project Rebuild, LSU Engineers are doing more than helping with home repairs. They are affirming their commitment to fully embracing the discipline through service.


For more information on Project Rebuild, visit their Facebook page