May 12, 2008

Seagate Donates Products and Tech Support to Longmont-Headquartered Engineers Without Borders

LONGMONT, Colo. - From the outside of its modest headquarters, Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) looks like just another of Longmont’s many start-up companies. In fact, EWB-USA shares a common concern of many of its start-up neighbors – trying to handle its own explosive growth. But EWB-USA is an international non-profit organization that has Seagate Technology to help ease its growing pains.

EWB-USA was founded in 2000 by Dr. Bernard Amadei, a French-born professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The non-profit is dedicated to helping communities in developing countries build the basic infrastructure needed to improve their quality of life.

EWB-USA’s modest office houses 19 full and part-time employees who use donated equipment to do their remarkable work. In the past six months, EWB-USA has more than doubled its workforce. Without full-time IT support, or much of an IT infrastructure, the EWB-USA headquarters was in need of everything from hardware and software, to the technical expertise needed to maintain IT equipment. That’s where Seagate and others have stepped in to lend a hand.

“We’ve been thrilled to have a number of organizations help us out through donations of computers and other support,” said Gina Earles, managing director of EWB-USA. “But when we started having IT problems, I wasn’t sure where to go for help.”

That’s when Dave Kabal, a product marketing manager at Seagate’s Longmont facility, began stopping by in his free time to troubleshoot network issues and set up PCs and laptops. Soon after, a few of Kabal’s Seagate colleagues joined him, helping to expand the office computing network and configure the phone system.

And with the extra help came additional equipment. Seagate donated three 750-GB FreeAgent™ Pro external hard drives for backing up server data; two Maxtor® 1-TB Shared Storage II drives for network storage, and 10 160-GB FreeAgent Go drives for backing up laptop data and syncing files from several computers.

“We used to just hope our system wouldn’t crash,” said Earles. “Now we have entire backup systems for all of our data, and it’s giving us so much peace of mind.”

For the Seagate team, there’s a level of personal satisfaction, having offered up their skills to a cause that means a lot to them. “It’s rare to have an opportunity to use my skills in a way that directly impacts a cause like Engineers Without Borders,” said Kabal.

The opportunity is one that Seagate also values as a company, said Andy Davis, the company’s VP of design engineering. “Storage technology has undoubtedly improved the quality of life of consumers in the developed world,” said Davis. “But we’re also pleased to see our products used in a way that helps society in other parts of the world, where the needs are so basic and urgent that very lives depend on this support.”

More About EWB-USA
EWB-USA has more than 10,000 volunteer engineers, other professionals and students throughout the U.S. who work on projects overseas to provide clean water, sanitation, energy structures and other basic needs to developing communities. The volunteers also provide training in the communities to enhance local technical, managerial and entrepreneurial skills.

In addition to the US-based EWB-USA, which recruits American volunteers, there are now EWB-USA organizations in a number of countries, including Canada, Sweden, Kenya, Rwanda, Palestine and Israel. Like EWB-USA, these organizations recruit within their national borders for projects worldwide. EWB-USA-International, which is based in Boulder, assists in the collaboration of the individual organizations.

About Seagate
Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives and storage solutions, providing products for a wide-range of applications, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Branded Solutions. Seagate's business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, with the goal of being the time-to-market leader in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at http://www.seagate.com.

Seagate, Seagate Technology, Maxtor and the Wave logo are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology, LLC. FreeAgent is a trademark of Seagate Technology LLC or one of its affiliates. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. When referring to hard drive capacity, one gigabyte, or GB, equals one billion bytes and one terabyte, or TB, equals one trillion bytes. Your computer’s operating system may use a different standard of measurement and report a lower capacity. In addition, some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions, and thus will not be available for data storage.