Peter Roebuck, Water & Wastewater Engineer, is going above and beyond Cambium’s mission to “help build healthier communities” by literally building them from the ground up.
Over the past six years, Peter has taken his engineering skills to communities in desperate need. He’s been deployed twelve times to war-torn or disaster-stricken areas around the world through the charitable organization, Samaritan’s Purse.
His latest mission? Leading the WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) team in Antakya, Turkey, following two earthquakes, a magnitude 7.8 and a 7.7, that killed more than 50,000 people and injured tens of thousands in February 2023. Peter and his team designed and built water and wastewater solutions to support a 52-bed, Tier 3 Emergency Field Hospital and supported temporary shelter camps that housed thousands of internally displaced people. “I wore a lot of hats on this deployment. Besides the water and wastewater systems for the hospital, I also lay the groundwork for the WASH program and supported coordination of the medical operations, which is everything needed to run a hospital”.
“I’ve always had a heart to serve people,” he says, “Its why I got into engineering. Using my knowledge and experience allows me to help the people who most desperately need it.”
From his deployments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, and the Bahamas, amongst others, Peter has learned to rely on a team. “My strength is my management, coordination, and background knowledge of water & wastewater systems. I work well with a tech who does the actual construction. We joke that I’m the brains and he is the hands.” In Turkey, Peter describes the building and set up of the temporary shelter camps as an ongoing learning in coordination. “The Shelter team can setup temporary shelters on their own, but they can’t operate a safe camp without the WASH team providing water, sanitation, and hygiene systems. You really have to lean into a strength-based approach – each team works within their expertise and relies on the other teams to fill in the gaps according to their own strengths.”
Providing people with the necessities to survive not only satisfies Peter’s desire to help, but also enables him to hone his problem-solving skills and his ability to adapt, both of which are necessary in his work at Cambium. “On an emergency deployment, if something can go wrong, it will and it is usually something that could not be anticipated. You have to be able to adapt and think outside the box.”