Shannon Rooney | November 26, 2017
Senior Christianos Burlotos describes himself as a passionate adventurer. “Whether it’s a hike, climb, run, sail, paddle, bike ride, or drive, I’m always looking to get outside and explore.” That personality trait, along with his passion for sustainable development and interest in civil engineering led him to NDSEED, or Notre Dame Students Empowering Through Engineering Development.
NDSEED was founded in 2008 by six engineering students who wanted to put their skills into action through service. They partnered with the organization Bridges to Prosperity to build a footbridge in a rural Honduran community in the summer of 2009, providing residents with much-needed access to healthcare, education and marketplaces.
Since then, NDSEED has worked on nine bridges in three countries under the leadership of 72 Notre Dame students. Burlotos, a civil engineering major, has been on the team since his sophomore year and now holds the position of project manager. He directs the team during their twice-weekly meetings, and is the campus contact for Bridges to Prosperity, and Fundación Ingenieros en Acción, the partner for the current NDSEED project in Bolivia.
Senior Meg Tucker, also a civil engineering major, joined NDSEED as a bridge engineer because she had good friends who were involved and, she says “I wanted to see the impact that the skills I have learned in my classes can have in real applications. I also was attracted to the adventure of building in South America.”