Wayne State civil and environmental engineering alumnus impacts lives in Africa

March 12, 2013

DETROIT (March 12, 2013) – Wayne State University College of Engineering alumnus Timothy Carter is impacting lives in Kenya, thanks to his engineering education and role as a senior program manager with the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene branch of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization.

Since joining the organization in 2011, Carter’s projects have included bringing water to more than 30 African communities during the East African drought crisis, helping bring hundreds of latrines to towns and villages, and helping rehabilitate community water pans — the only source of water for most villages.

Carter says he always knew he wanted to help others and make a difference, but didn’t know how to go about it.

In his junior year at Hope College everything clicked, thanks to an Engineers Without Borders assignment in Cameroon. While there, the team constructed a drinking-water system for a rural community. “I loved the project and connected well with the people. It was then that I realized I had found a way to use my engineering education to help those who are less fortunate,” says Carter.

Carter enrolled at Wayne State in January 2010 to earn a graduate certificate in sustainable engineering that would better enable him to help people around the world. He stayed for his master’s, graduating in 2011 with a degree in civil and environmental engineering.

While at Wayne State, he served as a graduate research assistant to Professor Carol Miller, working on a sustainable water transmission and distribution project. He also gained experience through involvement in the Waste-management Education and Research Consortium (WERC) Environmental Design Contest and membership in the Chi Epsilon National Civil Engineering Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, American Society of Civil Engineers and the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach.

His Wayne State experiences have helped him in his career in relief and development.

“I am now able to directly apply what I learned in class to a real-world situation that is benefiting others,” Carter says. “Additionally, the WERC Environmental Design Contest helped me gain experience managing a project in which we designed and constructed a small-scale renewable water treatment system for rural, remote communities. That project management experience has greatly helped me in my current role managing much larger teams.”

Carter, inspired by his Christian faith, is committed to helping as many people as possible through his position at Samaritan’s Purse. His current and upcoming projects include emergency water trucking during a drought, construction of large water catchment basins, borehole rehabilitation, health and hygiene training, soap and jerry can distribution, water storage tank installation, emergency food assistance, agriculture training, church support, youth outreach, emergency assistance for flood victims living in displacement camps, and emergency assistance for victims of tribal conflict living in displacement camps.

For more information on Samaritan’s Purse, visit, where you can read first-hand accounts and coverage of some of Carter’s most recent projects, “Sanitation Transformation,” “Women of Change” and “Living Water.” 

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students. For more information about engineering at Wayne State University, visit