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Connecting isolated rural people

Avery Bang from Bridges to Prosperity, and Marion O'Dowd from Bechtel, are engineers on a mission to help the developing world.

Marion Odowd And Avery Bang Og

Name: Avery Bang
Job: President & CEO
Company: Bridges to Prosperity

Name: Marion O'Dowd
Job: Marine Engineer
Company: Bechtel

Avery: My name is Avery Bang, I work for Bridges to Prosperity and my mission is to connect all of the rural isolated people around the world.

Marion: I'm Marion O'Dowd and I'm a coastal engineer, working for Bechtel Infrastructure. I'm on a mission to improve infrastructure in our communities. I've worked on a lot of different projects all around the world from the US, to Europe, the Middle East, the UK. One of the things I'm really proud of is a project that I did last year. I went out to Rwanda to build a 42 metre long suspension bridge, together with ten other westerners and ten of the locals, from Rwanda, and a charity, Bridges to Prosperity. And we completed the bridge in two weeks time and it was just an extremely inspiring moment to be part of. I'm extremely proud of this bridge because I know it's providing safe access for the local communities to reach healthcare, education and the local market, where they make their living, essentially.

Avery: Bridges to Prosperity is the only organisation in the world to focus on building foot bridges in multiple geographies at once. So we started in Latin America and expanded into Europe and we're now a UK charitable trust as well and we've expanded into Africa, as well as in Asia. And so what we've been able to do is to build over 270 bridges, y'know, up to two football fields in length that are able to serve 900,000 people. Any day of the week they could be still crossing bridges that we've built.

Marion: So my advice to anyone looking to get involve in engineering is to follow your dreams. Don't be afraid of asking questions. There's no such thing as silly questions. And think outside the box. Look around you, there's engineering everywhere.

Avery: I wish someone would have told me when I was about 14 that engineering is really just creative problem solving and so I love the fact that every single day I can come to work and get a new set of challenges and problems and I get to think about not only what is the problem, but I get to design the solution. And engineers do that every day. Whether they are designing the cell phone, or the cell phone tower, or the building, or the road, or the bridge, or the spaceship, I mean literally engineers design the world we live in and it's one of the most creative and inspiring careers that is out there.

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