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Local engineer helps design hospital in Ghana

A Fort St. John resident has recently returned after lending a helping hand overseas.

Daniel Schwanke, a electrical and controls engineer-in-training, recently returned home from a project trip to La-Accra, Ghana, where he and a team spent a week preparing the design of a hospital for La Mansaamo Kpee International (LMK).

Schwanke was part of a team of architects and engineers from all over North America, who volunteered their time with the Engineering Ministries International Canada.

It was the engineer-in-training’s first trip with EMI Canada.

Volunteers helped in developing concepts for the expansion of LMK’s already existing clinic into a maternal and child speciality hospital, which will serve the health needs of mothers and children in low-income families.

Schwanke worked out the electrical requirements for the site, which included services for medical equipment needs and back up power.

At the end of the week, the team presented a master plan and schematic building design to LMK, as well as phasing options.

Even after leaving, the team is continuing to work on more detailed ideas of the design, and will provide a final report in the upcoming months.

The team leader, Kevin Wiens, is also originally from Fort St. John. Wiens, a civil engineer, has been working in Calgary with Engineering Ministries International since 2007. Since then, he has led 15 teams of volunteer design professionals to countries like Haiti, Cambodia, El Salvador and South Sudan.