Our WashU EWB chapter partners with communities to improve their quality of life through the implementation of environmentally sustainable, equitable, and economical engineering projects while developing internationally responsible engineers and engineering students. Throughout the school year, our chapter of undergraduate students meet weekly to research, brainstorm, and collaborate on designs to achieve the partner community’s specified needs. Professional engineers from WashU faculty and the greater St. Louis area provide mentorship in some technical aspects of the projects, ensuring that the students’ self-guided development process meets professional guidelines and expectations.
After months of preparation, a group of students from each project makes a trip to the partner community to complete the next phase of the project, be that an in-depth assessment of the viability of the project (through communication with community leaders), the implementation of an engineering design, or the development of a community plan for maintenance and operations moving forward.
Currently, we have 2 projects in Uganda as well as some local work in St. Louis. The club is divided into these main three branches: the Bulubandi Project, the St. Francis Projecct, and the Local Project. The Bulubandi Project is working with a primary school in Iganga, Uganda to develop a rainwater catchment system to provide clean drinking water to their students. The St. Francis Project is working with St. Francis Healthcare System, a non-profit that funds care for children with HIV/AIDS, at the Omoana House to develop an irrigation system for their crops. The Local Project is working with local community centers to develop a large-scale efficient watering system, among many other projects. EWB’s Executive Board helps organize and run the larger club, while most participating club members work specifically within one of the three projects.



Rachel Rhyner



Rachel is a senior from Kansas City studying biomedical engineering. She is currently serving as president of the WashU EWB chapter. Previously, Rachel was the St. Francis project lead, where she helped design an irrigation system and a clean water source for a group that rehabilitates HIV/AIDS positive children. In her free time, Rachel enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling. 



Emily Ray                  

Bulubandi Project Lead


Emily is a senior from Raleigh, North Carolina studying biomedical and electrical engineering. As Bulubandi Project Lead, she is working with the Bulubandi Primary School to provide clean drinking water, combat female menstrual stigma, and improve sanitation. Outside of EWB, Emily enjoys running and conducts neural engineering research.

Naasik Syed

Local Project Lead


Naasik is a junior majoring in biomedical engineering from Plano, Texas.  As local project lead, he is the contact person for our partners on long-term projects in St. Louis and also coordinates weekend volunteering events.  In his spare time, Naasik loves to try new restaurants and watch cooking videos.

Caleb Liu



Caleb is a sophomore from Livingston, New Jersey studying Computer Science and English. As secretary, he manages EWB’s communications and keeps records of meeting and documents. Outside of EWB, he loves writing, playing tennis, and skiing. 

Dean Ryan-Simmons

St. Francis Project Lead


Dean is a Senior Dual Degree student studying Mechanical Engineering. As St. Francis lead, he is working with St. Francis Healthcare and the Omoana House on irrigating the farm that feeds the surrounding community and also provides a source of income. Dean also loves photography, sports, and cooking.

Connor Douglas 



Connor is a junior studying computer science and economics. Getting introduced to the club through his involvement in St. Francis his freshman year, he now focuses on the club’s budget, funding, and logistics as treasurer. Outside of EWB, Connor enjoys hiking, playing lacrosse, and snowboarding.

Ricky Illindala

Public Relations Chair


Ricky is a sophomore from Overland Park, Kansas studying Biomedical Engineering and Economics. As the Public Relations Officer, he looks forward to sparking WashU students’ interest in EWB and spread awareness about EWB’s projects and goals through social media platforms. In his free time, Ricky enjoys solving puzzles, practicing the guitar, and playing a variety of sports. 




Marie Drevets

Previous St. Francis Project Lead


Marie is a sophomore studying Mechanical Engineering. As St. Francis project lead, she worked with St. Francis Healthcare and the Omoana house on irrigating a farm providing food HIV positive children in rehabilitation. Outside of EWB, Marie loves running, music, and boba tea.