GCIUS – Nathalie Roy, Essential Member of the GCIUS
Ghana — Uniterra
From October 10th to 18th, the team was fortunate enough to have Nathalie Roy, a civil engineering professor at the University of Sherbrooke. Her advices always led to concrete actions during this period and will for the rest of the project. Fun fact, the night of October 24th to 25th will mark the half of our experience in Ghana. This point in time is an excellent moment of introspection to question past and future actions. For my part, I like to remember moments that are rich in experience. It is in the smallest details that we often find the uniqueness and singularity of each of these memories. Here is what the GCIUS members learned from their experience with Nathalie and why her presence is essential to each GCIUS edition.
Since we have been involved with the GCIUS, we only had the chance to work with Nathalie during the group guidance councils, which only take place four times a year, and in a few courses for those who study in civil engineering. While these moments are very valuable for the advices they contain, they can not replace the 9 days spent with Nathalie that were very concrete and applied. We had the chance to share our daily life here in Tamale with someone who knows the GCIUS very well, its realities, its ups and its downs. Even though projects change every year, the challenges are often the same and you have to live them to understand them.
At the structural level, the plans have been greatly modified. The originals were far from containing enough pillars, compromising the stability and the durability of the building. It was therefore a golden opportunity for civil engineering students to put into practice the theory learned in class to achieve something concrete and optimize the structure, especially in terms of the amount of steel needed for the pillars. Throughout this process, Nathalie acted as a mentor, being available when the calculations became more complex. Moreover, she was of a great help to enhance our presence in the project, constantly reminding our partners of the skills and technical interest that live through us. Sintaro, Tibzaa’s CEO, greatly appreciated Nathalie, who shines by her humane, empathic and caring presence. Beyond the project’s technical aspects, the team’s internal management benefited greatly from a certain questioning time. Several roles sometimes overlap and we have specified each one’s tasks to ensure optimal division.
On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank Nathalie for her presence, which has further fueled the flame that drives us forward in a project that has been central to our lives for over a year. The nostalgia of the days spent with you already inhabits us, but we have all the necessary tools to live the most enriching experience.
Let’s get to work!
– Jordan Laroche