Our 2017 Contractor Volunteer Experience Winner is…


It is a deeply held core belief here at the Ian Martin Group that every act of meaningful work can have a profound influence on the world. In order to further connect our pool of skilled contractors to our mission, in March of 2017 we launched our first annual Contractor Volunteer Experience program. This program offers up to $10,000 for an IMG contractor to take an international volunteer trip of his or her choice to make the world a better place.

We are excited to announce this year’s winner: Sam Cheng!

Sam Cheng is a dedicated engineer who has worked in Alberta with us for the last two years fixing, testing, and designing pipelines. Sam was bestowed this year’s award because of his passion for pioneering new ways of bringing clean drinking water to rural communities in developing nations.

In November 2017, Sam will be travelling to Cambodia with Samaritan’s Purse for 2 weeks to build and install clean drinking water facilities for schools in rural areas. He will be on a team that will install Canadian-invented BioSand Filters which use layers of sand, gravel, and naturally occurring micro-organisms to transform contaminated water into safe water in seconds. Sam is passionate about the technologies that exist to create clean drinking water and seeks to better understand how we can use innovation to better the lives of communities in third world countries.  

How does the filtration work? Samaritan’s Purse describes it in detail:

A school collects dirty water in a reservoir tank, which slowly releases the water into an adjacent filtration tank. Fine sand and a biological layer of water in the filtration tank trap and consume disease-causing parasites, micro-organisms, and viruses. More filtration occurs as the water continues to travel downward through increasingly coarse layers of sand and gravel where organisms die off without light and oxygen. The gravitational force of the unfiltered water above pushes the filtered water through a pipe and into a large storage tank for drinking and washing.


Construction of filtration system for a school in rural Cambodia.

We are so proud of Sam’s passion and determination to use his skills and spirit toward meaningful work that changes lives. We look forward to sharing more about his trip at the end of the year!

Applications for next year’s IMG Contractor Volunteer Award program will open in January 2018.