In 2004 when Dr. Willam Grenney was a professor of Civil Engineering at Utah State University, he was approached by a group of sophomore engineering students who wished to establish a student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (ewb-usa.org) and they invited him to be the faculty advisor. The students had learned that EWB was an international humanitarian organization incorporating student chapters at more than a hundred universities in the USA. Chapters were involved in planning, designing, and implementing small engineering projects for needy communities in countries around the world. The USU Chapter was formed and four engineering students and the faculty advisor traveled to the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the Spring of 2005 to evaluate potential water and sanitary projects for remote villages.
Unable to establish a feasible project in the Tibet region due to governmental restrictions, the team refocused its efforts toward Byana Mary Hill Primary School, a remote orphanage school near Masaka, Uganda. An evaluation trip was made to Masaka during Christmas break in 2005, a clean-water project was identified, designs were prepared, and a team implemented a well, pump and storage tank in the Spring of 2006. Additional projects were identified at Byana Mary Hill and communities in the surrounding area, and implementation trips were continued once or twice a year.
After retiring from the University, Dr. Grenney founded the non-profit Institute for Sustained Education Economics and Engineering (DBA: SeeeMe) in 2009. SeeeMe continued to associate closely with EWB; however, whereas previous EWB teams had been composed primarily of engineering students implementing physical infrastructure projects, the SeeeMe Board of Directors broadened its scope to include other disciplines in order to better address the wide range of challenges facing rural villages in Uganda.