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Jacobs Employees head to Rwanda

Category: jacobs, Bridges to Prosperity, Bridge Build in Rwanda, Volunteering Opportunities

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Image of 2 young black males on a bridge

 

When rivers flood in the rainy season, people in rural communities often need to make the impossible choice whether or not to risk their lives crossing the river to access these critical resources.

Bridges connect communities to endless opportunities to not only improve the quality of life but also to help them thrive. The nonprofit Bridges to Prosperity builds footbridges all over the world in an effort to end poverty due to rural isolation.

While individual Jacobs teammates and legacy CH2M teams have participated in 13 bridge builds since 2014, Jacobs has never officially sent a team on a Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) build.

But that’s set to change with #OurJacobs first-ever global B2P Bridge Build in Rwanda this summer!

More than 180 of our teammates around the world applied to be part of this opportunity of a lifetime and now in June, the selected 10 team members will travel to western Rwanda to physically construct a footbridge that will provide nearly 3,000 individuals safe access so children can go to school, families can receive medical care and farmers can sell crops at market.

Our Jacobs team will volunteer their own time to construct The Kibiraro Bridge over a two-week period. They will be immersed within the community, and they will live and work alongside local community members while exchanging cultural and technical skills.

In the next few months, we’ll be sharing more one-on-one interviews with the team members, providing virtual volunteering opportunities, and launching fundraising efforts to further drive impact toward this incredible cause. We hope you follow along and watch the team prepare for this experience of a lifetime.

Now, meet the incredible Jacobs B2P Rwanda Bridge Build team:

Ashley Betson

Ashley Betson

Role at Jacobs: Project Manager

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Role on the B2P Team: Project Lead

Ashley, the project lead for the Kibiraro bridge build, is a project manager (PM) on our Federal & Environmental Solutions team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. With eight years of environmental consulting and project management experience with Jacobs, Ashley currently leads a team of 200 staff as the PM for our Coastal GasLink Project. Ashley has been passionate about the work B2P does since she participated in the Quililon bridge build in 2017. Ashley is driven by leaving a lasting impact and contributing to a more sustainable and connected world, which is why she is thrilled to lead our team in Rwanda. Outside of work, you’ll find her running with her dog Waylon, at dog friendly brewery, at the ski hill or in the backcountry. Ashley is excited to lead the team as we work with the local community to build this 80-meter bridge that will leave a lasting impact, connecting communities to schools, markets and healthcare.

 

Stewart Fisken

Stewart Fisken

Role at Jacobs: Water Engineer

Location: New York City, New York, U.S.

Role on the B2P Team: Health and Safety Lead

Stewart is a water engineer with Jacobs working in our New York City (NYC) office. For the last two years Stewart has been performing project management duties for a large structural rehabilitation project at a Water Resource Recovery Facility in New York City. Stewart will be the Safety Lead for the Kibiraro build. Previously Stewart has had extensive field experience all over New York City’s waterways and has worked on various water quality and environmental projects in his eight years in NYC. Stewart’s professional interest are in water infrastructure projects and sustainability planning. Stewart enjoys hiking, camping and sitting in his hammock reading a fantasy book and is currently converting a camper van.

Ahead of the build, Stewart shares an inspiring quote from the one and only Albus Dumbledore, “It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

 

James “Jim” Wilson

James “Jim” Wilson

Role at Jacobs: Virginia/West Virginia (VAWV) Microwave Project Manager

Location: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Role on the B2P Team: Logistics Lead

While Jim has been involved with wireless for the last 40 years, he joined the Jacobs team in 2017 as the first member of the current microwave group. Since that time, he’s assisted with the creation of the team, development of new markets and expansion of the client base. His responsibilities include serving as project manager or construction manager, site walks, scoping, bill of materials creation and submittal, assisting site acquisition with design specifications and site plan review, developing quotes and submitting purchase order requests, and compiling and submitting closeout documentation to our clients. He even supports our sales process as a resource for proposals and submittals.

“For all of my career I have been involved to helping people connect wirelessly,” explains Jim. “Building a bridge to connect people, especially in a foreign country is incredibly exciting! Helping people, seeing new areas and learning about culture and food – it’s a win for everyone involved.”

 

James “Jim” Wilson

Daisy Carter

Role at Jacobs: Engineering Rail Technician

Location: Birmingham, U.K.

Role on the B2P Team: Communications Lead

Supporting a wide range of engineering and management teams for interdisciplinary projects at Jacobs has allowed Daisy to develop valuable technical and interpersonal skills. This includes building strong, trusting relationships and establishing effective communication strategies with others at all levels. Assuming the role of Chapter Lead for the Jacobs Women's Network (JWN) in December 2019 enhanced her public speaking ability and provided Daisy with countless opportunities to engage others via presentations and fundraising events. It’s an honor, Daisy says, to be chosen as the communications lead for the Kibiraro bridge build team and she looks forward to all of the new challenges that it will bring.

“By building a bridge, we are opening up doors of opportunity and creating informed communities,” says Daisy. “Bridges to Prosperity will undoubtedly provide the most character-building experience of my life, and this is the type of project that I have always aspired to work on from joining the civil engineering industry.”

 

James “Jim” Wilson

Tim Duncan

Role at Jacobs: Construction Engineer

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Role on the B2P Team: Construction Lead

Tim is a civil engineer in our Ports and Maritime Group in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office. He started with Jacobs straight out of college and has been with the company for more than 17 years. The majority of his career has been spent on the construction side of projects as a Resident Engineer and Construction Manager. He’s been fortunate to work on many large port projects, he shares, as well as projects in other transportation sectors, including highway/bridge, aviation and rail/transit, and has had the incredible opportunity to travel to work on several international projects in Panama, Ecuador and Qatar.

“‘Excited’ may not be a strong enough word for how I feel,” says Tim. “Bridges to Prosperity is an amazing organization that brings hope and opportunity to entire communities through the construction of a life-changing bridge, and I am very grateful for having been selected for this opportunity to help this community in Rwanda with fellow enthusiastic colleagues from across the world.”

 

James “Jim” Wilson

Ousmane Insa

Role at Jacobs: Geotechnical Engineer

Location: Tampa, Florida, U.S.

Role on the B2P Team: Support Team Member

Ousmane is a licensed Professional Engineer in Florida, who has over four years of geotechnical engineering experience. He specializes in geotechnical subsurface exploration, supervision of drilling and construction operations, shallow and deep foundations inspections, performing geotechnical analyses, and preparing reports for projects. Ousmane has served as a site resident engineer in direct contact and communication with the construction team and the client for both large and small projects. He has worked on numerous transportation, water and ports projects including bridges, roads, water treatment plants, reservoirs and commercial and residential buildings. He has completed projects in multiple states in the U.S .and in The Bahamas. In his spare time, Ousmane enjoys running, swimming and cooking.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to serve the Kibiraro community in Rwanda, and I cannot wait to see the joy in the faces of the locals after the bridge is complete,” shares Ousmane. “I am impatiently looking forward to making a positive impact on this community using what I love doing, CONSTRUCTION!”

 

Nicola Wilkins

Nicola Wilkins

Role at Jacobs: Technical Director Solar PV, APAC

Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Role on the B2P Team: Support Team Member

Nicola has 20 years of experience in the electrical power sector and renewable energy businesses with a focus on solar and battery storage. She has extensive experience in feasibility studies, concept design, technical specifications and tender evaluations through to construction, operation, performance analysis and due diligence of power plants. Nicola has designed and project managed stand-alone power systems as well as both rooftop and ground-mount solar PV systems. She has worked on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Australia, U.K., Germany, Papa New Guinea, Fiji Islands, India, Pakistan and Mongolia. As Technical Director Solar PV for the Asia Pacific region, Nicola leads the technical discipline at the most senior level, delivering innovative solutions that provide superior value to our clients. Nicola is a Chartered Engineer and holds a Master of Science in Renewable Energy from Loughborough University and a Bachelor of Engineering from Monash University. She was the recipient of the 2017 Clean Energy Council Women in Renewables Scholarship.

 

Sam Arthurson

Sam Arthurson

Role at Jacobs: Structural Engineer

Location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Role on the B2P Team: Support Team Member/Assistant PM or CM

Sam is a structural engineer in Adelaide, Australia with two years of full-time experience. Although relatively new to his career, Sam is an aspiring bridge engineer, having worked on multiple bridge rehabilitation projects. Sam is excited about this opportunity as he’s passionate about bringing out the best in others and making a real difference to the world. A keen traveler, Sam is excited to head to Rwanda and showcase his professional expertise and light-hearted personality to sustain genuine relationships and benefit the lives of the local community.

 

Aleksandra Tomczyk

Aleksandra Tomczyk

Role at Jacobs: Graduate Engineer

Location: Leeds, U.K.

Role on the B2P Team: Support Team Member

Aleksandra grew up in the south of Poland and made a very scary but exciting decision to go to a University in Scotland, which she says, was easily one of the best decisions she’s ever made. Currently a Graduate Engineer and Information Manager on our Water team in Leeds, U.K., Aleksandra uses her engineering knowledge and experience to deliver flood risk management and protection projects to communities across the U.K. She’s also involved in some project and design management tasks. The biggest project she’s working on at the moment is High Speed 2, where she provides water management and flooding advice to colleagues and contractors. In Aleksandra’s time away from work, she runs her own small business, reads a lot of books and explores the countryside with her partner.

“Visiting Rwanda has been a dream for many years so I’m very excited to be able to experience its amazing culture, rich history and stunning views,” enthuses Aleksandra. “I also look forward to being out of my comfort zone and use my engineering skills on a real construction site.”

 

Charlotte Wylie

Charlotte Wylie

Role at Jacobs: Bridge Engineer

Location: Glasgow, U.K.

Role on the B2P Team: Support Team Member

Charlotte joined Jacobs in 2019 as a graduate after completing four internships with Jacobs during her degree. She’s now an engineer in the Glasgow bridges team and works on a variety of projects from local footbridges to national infrastructure projects. Charlotte’s gained experience of detailed structural design, analysis and undertaking structure assessments and has also advanced her technical knowledge of structure maintenance, construction, health and safety and environmental best practices.

Known as a confident, outgoing and enthusiastic member of her team, Charlotte is also working toward professional membership with the ICE and is a Positive Mental Health Champion, ‘Buddy’ and STEAM Ambassador.

She shares, "I am looking forward to truly experiencing the impact my role as a bridge engineer can have on a community, to seeing the lives that will be transformed and gaining fantastic memories with people from all over the world.”

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