Media Advisory: Engineer to discuss building bridges in Africa

A walking bridge crossing a river in Kenya.

UB engineering students have designed a bridge, similar to the one pictured above, for a dangerous ravine in Kenya. They are raising money to buy materials and to travel to Africa to build the bridge. Credit: Kelley Rehm.

On Monday, 100 students will discuss the other “Peace Bridge,” which crosses a dangerous river in Kenya

Release Date: November 28, 2016


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Rural Kenya can be a dangerous place. Sure, the lions and hippopotamuses are to be feared. But so too are the swift-moving rivers that people must cross to obtain medical care, schooling and other necessities.

Sadly, drownings are common, especially during the rainy season.

UB engineering students, working with nonprofit Bridging the Gap Africa, are trying help solve that problem by designing and building a bridge to cross a river in Sultan Hamud, a town roughly 65 miles from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

They are raising money to buy materials needed for the bridge and to cover some of their travel expenses. For more information and to donate, visit the UB Institute of Bridge Engineering’s website.

On Monday, Nov. 28, the students will hear from Matthew Bowser, an engineer based in Ontario, who, through volunteering with Bridging the Gap Africa, designed and helped build a long suspension bridge in Kenya that he dubbed the Peace Bridge.

The event is free and open to the public. News media are invited to attend.

Where: Room 20 of Knox Hall on UB’s North Campus.

When: 5-7:30 p.m. Note: Media wishing to interview Bowser prior to the lecture should contact Cory Nealon, University Communications, at or 716-645-4614.

Parking: Parking is free and no tags are required after 3 p.m. in faculty, staff and student lots.

The UB students are working under the guidance of Jerome “Jerry” O’Connor, executive director of UB’s Institute of Bridge Engineering and adjunct professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Media Contact Information

Cory Nealon
Director of News Content
Engineering, Computer Science
Tel: 716-645-4614
Twitter: @UBengineering