Engineers In Action - Boliva Suspension Bridge

#sdsmt #students #technical #bridges #eia #engineersinaction #boliva

Samantha McKillop, PE, SE will present on her upcoming volunteer work with a non-profit organization called Engineers In Action (EIA).  She will be traveling abroad in October to construct a pedestrian suspension bridge for a remote community in Bolivia. This project will improve access to essential resources like education, healthcare, markets and government representation. Access to these services is complicated by the river, which floods 150 days out of the year on average. Roughly 30 children currently use a tree trunk bridge to reach class every day during the rainy season. This unstable crossing prevents access to health care for the elderly and is not adequate to transport farm produce, presenting constant risk that harvests will rot before they can be sold.

The new footbridge across the Río Capilla will have a span of 114 feet and will provide a means of safe crossing for pedestrians, motorcycles, wheelbarrows, and livestock.

This project will serve the communities of Qaga Huasi, Julpi Arriba, and Tablón, with a total beneficiary population of 750.  It will be delivered in direct cooperation with the municipal engineers and the benefiting communities. Further, improved access to fertile land and markets will facilitate economic expansion and encourage population growth in coming years.

Your financial support for this project is greatly appreciated - please consider donating through this link to help offset costs of building materials, tools and travel expenses:

  Date and Time




  • Date: 18 Sep 2023
  • Time: 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-06:00) Mountain Time (US & Canada)
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  • 330 E. Kansas City Street
  • Rapid City, South Dakota
  • United States 57701
  • Building: Center for Alumni Relations & Advancement (CARA)

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  • Starts 03 August 2023 01:24 PM
  • Ends 18 September 2023 12:00 AM
  • All times are (UTC-06:00) Mountain Time (US & Canada)
  • No Admission Charge


Samantha McKillop Samantha McKillop of Burns & McDonnell


Samantha joined Burns & McDonnell’s Kansas City office in January 2016 as a junior engineer in the Transportation Global Practice. During her 7-year career, she has designed a variety of bridge-type structures and has experience with reinforced concrete structures, steel girders, sign structures, cable-supported structures, crash barriers, and retaining walls. Samantha has also been involved in structural condition inspections and construction engineering of major river bridges.  In her current role, she serves as project manager for bridge and culvert replacement/rehabilitation projects across the Midwest.

Samantha was born and raised on a farm near Hokah, Minnesota. She went to Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) where she earned a B.S. and M.S in Civil Engineering with a Structural Emphasis.  During her time at Missouri S&T, she competed as a member of the track & field team and participated in both undergraduate and graduate research.  Her professional career has taken her and her husband, Chris, to Rapid City, South Dakota, where they now call home along with their beloved vizsla named Willow.

Outside of work, she enjoys exploring the Black Hills, either by foot or on two wheels.  Samantha and her husband can often be found hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, paddle boarding, skiing, riding their dirt bikes, or rock climbing.


For parking, please use the Surbeck parking lot on the East side of the CARA building.  Enter through the east doors.

5:00 - Food (complimentary food with Registration)
5:30 - 6:00 - Presentation
6:00 - 6:30 - Questions