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Bernard Amadei

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Bernard Amadei

Bernard Amadei
Born (1954-07-23)July 23, 1954
Roubaix, France
Residence United States
Citizenship United States
Nationality United States
Fields Geotechnical engineering
Development Engineering
Institutions University of Colorado at Boulder
Alma mater Ecole Supérieure de Géologie Appliquée
et de Prospection Minière,
University of Toronto, and
University of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisor Richard E. Goodman
Known for Founding Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA)
Notable awards National Academy of Engineering
Hoover Medal (2007)
ENR Award of Excellence
Senior Ashoka Fellow

Bernard Amadei (born July 23, 1954 in Roubaix, France) is a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado, founder of Engineers Without Borders (USA), and former director of the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a recipient of the Hoover Medal. In 2009, he was recognized with an Award of Excellence from Engineering News-Record. In 2012, Dr. Amadei was appointed as a Science Envoy by the U.S. Department of State.


Amadei is a native of Roubaix France, born on July 23, 1954.[1] Amadei earned a Diploma of Engineer (Dipl. Eng.) in 1977 in the area of Applied Geology from the School of Applied Geology and Mining Engineering (Ecole Supérieure de Géologie Appliquée et de Prospection Minière) in Nancy, France (currently known as the École nationale supérieure de géologie or ENSG).[1][2][3] Following a year of service in the French Army (August 1977 to August 1978), he began graduate studies abroad. He earned a Master of Science from the University of Toronto in 1979 and was awarded a doctorate (PhD) in civil engineering in 1982 from the University of California, Berkeley for his thesis publication entitled "The Influence of Rock Anisotropy on Measurement of Stresses in Rock in situ."[1]The Obama administration, following up the president's announcement of the program in Cairo, [4]named Mr. Amadei one of three Scientific Envoys appointed by Secretary of State Clinton in November, 2012.[5]

Establishment of Engineers Without Borders-USA

A firm belief in the principle that engineers must hold the public welfare paramount, or above any other responsibility, led Amadei to reconsider his involvement in a hydroelectric plant in Costa Rica in 2002. He thought that this project would displace too many local residents and violate this principle of "do no harm." This realization came along about two years after his first experience with a humanitarian engineering project.[6]

In 2000, Amadei organized an effort resulting in the construction of a water pump for a village in Belize. He undertook the effort at the suggestion of an immigrant landscaper working at his residence. Amadei saw that the installation of a pump to supply drinking water to the village of San Pablo would have a social impact on this community. Young girls in the village were tasked with carrying water each day from the river to the village. This meant that they could not attend school. Using the engineering talent of himself and his students to bring clean drinking water to the village had a huge social benefit to the community.[7] This comprehension of the larger meaning of engineering inspired Amadei to create a volunteer organization that could enable engineers to donate their services in this manner.[6]

From a small beginning with just a few students volunteering alongside him, the Engineers Without Borders-USA organization has grown to 14,000 members in 400 chapters. Humanitarian aid has been provided in 48 countries, benefiting more than 600,000 people.[6]

Awards and distinctions

List of works

See also

External links

  • Membership page, National Academy of Engineering.
  • Profile, "Engineering for Developing Communities" website.
  • EWB-USA Founder on Engineers Without Borders website.
  • History on the EWB-USA website.
  • Biography Mortenson Center for Engineering in Developing Countries


  1. ^ a b c "Nomination for Manuel Rocha Medal, Brief CV of Bernard Amadei" (PDF).  
  2. ^ University of Colorado at Boulder, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering Department. "Faculty biography". Archived from the original on April 20, 2009. 
  3. ^ École nationale supérieure de géologie. "History of ENSG". (in French). Archived from the original on December 10, 2007. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ Reference 3
  5. ^ Reference 4
  6. ^ a b c d Rubin, Debra K. (March 30, 2009). "Award of Excellence: Academic ignites engineering talent to drive levels of needed change".   Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Second page; archived from the original on April 22, 2009.
  7. ^ Michels, Spencer (December 7, 2007). "Engineers Lend Technical Aid to Developing Countries".  
  8. ^ "ISRM: The Rocha Medal".  
  9. ^ The Heinz Awards, Bernard Amadei profile
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