Ecuadorian universities interested in EcoMaterials

Taking advantage of the visit of various EcoSouth experts to Ecuador for the Bienal of Architecture in Quito, several universities and profesional organizations invited them. Presentations in Guayaquil, a seminar in Loja, as well as a cooperation agreement for post-graduate courses via Internet with the UTPL of Loja, demonstrated a growing consciousness about sustainability within the professional society.

While the partial substitution of Portland cement in high-pressure concrete does not appear to be a theme of interest to architectural students, more than 350 people, including students and professionals attended a lecture by Dr. Fernando Martirena at the Faculty of Architecture at the National University of Guayaquil. The director of the school manifested her surprise that not only so many people attended, rather that they stayed until the end of the presentation and that during the lecture absolute quiet reigned in the auditorium.

The question sessions was practically reserved for some professors, who made queries and observations that demonstrated their deep knowledge of the theme, and Martirena had to enter in the profundities of the science in order to respond to all questions.

The following day Dr. Kurt Rhyner and Dr. Martirena, made presentations to the College of Engineers of Guayaquil. Again, much interested and ample knowledge of the theme was revealed among those in attendance. A smaller group stayed on over a long meal and discussed until midnight with the guests.

Meanwhile in the south of Ecuador, in the City of Loja, other members of the delegation opened a seminar about EcoMaterials organized by the Provincial College of Architects, with 150 registered participants. Basically it was a repetition of the presentations at the Biennale of Quito, and several interesting contacts emerged that possibly will influence certain changes in the use of technologies and construction materials in this province.

During various work sessions the delegates of the network got to know the "Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja" (UTPL) and its ample study programs presenciales, at a distance and by Internet, where they count on virtual classrooms in various Ecuadorian cities, as well as in Rome, Madrid and New York. The TTPL has an most interesting educational system, where all students are obliged to carry out professional activities. There are pottery workshops, laboratories for commercial tests, laboratories for biological products, agricultural farms, milk processing plant, etc. For students with scholarships, work in these activities help to repay their scholarships.

The school of architecture with its young director, Karin Monteros, is likely to provide an active and sustainable base from which to amplify knowledge concerning the themes of EcoMaterials. Already for the upcoming year, a first course semi-presencial is planned, for a period of two months, concerning the theme of earth construction. It is expected that in the month of March registration for this course will open, and which will be published on the EcoSouth website. The first course is conceived as being able to contribute credits that will be valid toward specializations and possibly toward a masters. Because the procedures to achieve this are somewhat complex (approvals from educational authorities) the parties have agreed to begin with a first step. Thus, a framework agreement was signed between the Rector of the UTPL and the President of Grupo Sofonias in representation of the EcoSouth Network.

It is proposed that all students do the course through Internet with tutorials/tutors, and to finish a week of physical presence in Loja for the exams and certain laborotary work (practices). According to the interest of the students outside Ecuador, other universities will be sought that provide the presential aspect, for example in Guatemala.

You are here: Home Past editions Edition #9, January 2005 Ecuadorian universities interested in EcoMaterials

Consultants

Martín Meléndez
Dominican
Civil Engineer
Spanish and English
Microconcrete roofing tiles (MCR), CP 40 (alternative cement), adobe, tapial, burnt clay bricks, social organization, workshop planning for MCR and alternative cement, setup and implementation of housing projects, disaster prevention in construction

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