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Dr. May is a professor of engineering at Fort Lewis College. He joined the college in 1984. In 2004, May launched the Fort Lewis College chapter of Engineers Without Borders (now the Village Aid Project), a humanitarian and educational organization that engages students in engineering and construction projects that assist the neediest communities in the developing world. Since 2004, Dr. May has served as director and has overseen 28 projects in 19 communities in rural Thailand, Laos, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Myanmar, involving hundreds of students, community partners, and other Fort Lewis faculty members.
Dr. May is the Fort Lewis College site coordinator of the National Science Foundation sponsored LS Colorado-Wyoming Alliance for Minority Participation. As a registered professional engineer, May has published numerous reports and engineering studies on his Village Aid Project work and on other projects in open channel hydraulics, surface water hydrology, groundwater hydrology, water supply system design, sanitary sewer design and more. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Rotary International, Raytheon Systems and Coutts and Clark Foundation, among many other organizations.
The Fort Lewis College Village Aid Project celebrated its 13-year anniversary in 2017. Dr. Don May started the chapter in 2004 and took the first group of students to Houi Houk, Thailand the next year. Since then, May and his students have also worked in Laos, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Myanmar.
About the Program
Engineers Without Borders (FLC)—now the Village Aid Project at Fort Lewis College—is a nonprofit organization that helps needy communities in the developing world find sustainable engineering solutions to their most basic needs, such as clean water and sanitation. In addition to the humanitarian work the organization focuses on providing students with an unparalleled experience that promotes volunteerism, professionalism and responsible global citizenship. The mission is community driven, involving college students, faculty and community partners in projects that commit a minimum of five years to each village.
In Dr. May’s Words
“At its very core, the Village Aid Project epitomizes what liberal arts is all about. Working on these projects, we have engineers, scientists and students from a wide variety of humanities and social science disciplines all coming together in this real life, real world setting to accomplish something. We each approach the solutions to problems differently, so it’s exciting to see how a diverse group can combine all this expertise to bring about unique solutions.”
“Marco Pamba Water System, Ecuador,” Fort Lewis College, Village Aid Project, 2011
“Ban Nakamphaeng Water Project and Laos Development Projects,” Fort Lewis College, Village Aid Project, 2011
“Santa Martha Water Project, Ecuador,” Fort Lewis College, Engineers Without Borders, 2010