AguaClara is a program that provides undergraduate & graduate students the opportunity to enhance their education with hands-on, real-world experience. The AguaClara Engineering Team focuses on the R&D aspects of the overall AguaClara project, while creating a problem based learning environment for Cornell students. The Team works to develop sustainable water treatment technology that is then implemented at AguaClara plants currently in Honduras and India. In 2012, the National Academy of Engineering recognized AguaClara as an exemplary program that "infuses real world experience into engineering education."
Approximately 50,000 Hondurans benefit from safe water provided by municipal AguaClara water treatment plants. Plans are currently underway to spread the AguaClara technologies to additional countries. See a map of the project.
Being a part of AguaClara is a unique experience for students. Many universities focus on teaching students what the faculty know; In the AguaClara program we educate engineers to generate new knowledge. We create the general solution to the problem of safe water on tap. From that general solution we can quickly provide a solution for particular communities.
The goal of the Cornell team is not to manufacture the actual water treatment plants (this would not be cost-, resource-, skill-, or time-effective). Instead, students have the opportunity to participate in an annual Engineering-in-Context trip to Honduras for two weeks to help transfer the latest technologies to the field and to learn about sustainable environmental engineering infrastructure in an international context.
Please contact Dr. Monroe Weber-Shirk, AguaClara program director, for more information.