Blueprint Brigade

An engineering professor is harnessing people power to build solutions for the developing world

Anne Raup

Amadei, center, works with volunteers from Engineers Without Borders to protect water sources in eastern Nepal from human, animal and agricultural waste.

Bernard Amadei is the kind of engineer who believes in fate, and here's why. In 1997 he needed to have some landscaping done at his home near the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he has worked as a professor of civil engineering for more than 20 years. He picked a company out of the Yellow Pages, called, and three Mayan Indians from Belize appeared on his doorstep. Amadei, 53, an amiable Frenchman who is quick to connect, listened as the men told him of the poverty back in their home village of San Pablo. He stayed in touch and a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!