Project Manager for fiber processing project- Volunteer

Impact on EWB-USA’s mission + vision

The Research & Development team in the Engineering Service Corps is seeking a Project Manager to scope and lead a project to improve the processing of fiber for an organization in rural Nepal.

The project will further define the existing system and seek ways to improve the safety and efficiency of the process while reducing environmental impacts.

Description + Responsibilities

The challenge: This company employs about a dozen people right now to turn the raw stinging nettles plant into a fiber for weaving. In addition, hundreds of Nepali people in the mountain areas harvest the material and ship it there. They have been doing this for about 6 years now, but the process needs a lot of help as it’s very rough, time-consuming, and dangerous in some aspects. The current production is about 60 ton per year but they want to up it to 1000 tons per year.

The company processes fibers in small inefficient batches which are inefficient, hazardous, and not environmentally friendly. Efficient heating of larger vessels needs to be developed. Cleaning of wastewater needs to be researched. Ideally, a follow-through would optimize their process.

The Project Manager would be responsible for: assessing the project, and assembling a technical team capable of developing solution(s).

Qualifications + Requirements

The Project Manager should have several years of experience in processes related to the conversion of natural fibers into useful products. Other desired qualities include:

5 plus years of mechanical engineering and team leadership experience.
Project Manager managing process improvement project(s)
Processes for heating fluids. Possibly using solar panels.
Vessel designs used when treating long fibers
General experience with textile processing
Cleaning of effluent fluids from processes e.g. textile chemical processing
Optimization of work flow for chemical processing e.g. textile industry
Financial Commitment

Typical costs incurred by the member will include travel, accommodations, some meals, and registration. In addition, the team should anticipate the need for some funding for development of prototype processes. Estimated prototype cost is $10,000 and may be covered in part by the client.

Time Commitment/Commitment Duration

Timeline and budget are uncertain, but the applicant (individual member or chapter) should assume a 2-year research & development project. The level of effort may be 1 to 3 people part-time with 1 or 2 trips to assess and implement a pilot project.

Financial Commitment

The project team will be responsible for raising funds for travel and for a prototype – on the order of $10,000.

Apply through this link:

  • :
  • : sAM
  • : buRD
  • : Engineers Without Borders-USA
  • : Volunteer

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