Important message about the COVID-19 Coronavirus

In an effort to care for all of our personnel, families, and mission around the world, EMI has been taking a number of steps in response to the progress of COVID-19.

Location-specific Crisis Management Teams remain in place to monitor COVID developments, inform, and care for EMI personnel. Decisions about official EMI travel (including project travel) domestically and internationally are being made on a case-by-case basis by Office Directors in locations concerned. EMI’s worldwide offices remain in varying states of closure with personnel working remotely or from home.

We continue to actively monitor the situation and will respond to new information affecting our worldwide ministry and teams. We view the COVID-19 Coronavirus as an opportunity to live out the gospel and our faith in Jesus through the ministry of EMI.

Phil Iekel

Deputy Director, Structural EIT
EMI Nicaragua
Joined EMI: July 2019
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Professional Training & Experience

  • B.S. in Civil Engineering, Iowa State University, 2016
  • M.S. in Civil Engineering (structural emphasis), Iowa State University, 2018

During his undergraduate studies Phil interned with the Iowa Department of Transportation as a Materials co-op and Burns & McDonnell as a Civil/Structural design intern. In graduate school, Phil led two projects that contributed to his thesis, concerning bridge design and efficiency in construction. He is interested in building design and construction and has experience with structural programs such as RISA 3D and SAP2000.

Ministry Experience

Much of Phil's spiritual formation came from a campus ministry in college called the Navigators, whose desire is to "know Christ, make Him known, and help others do the same". It was through men investing in Phil that he began to see God's heart for the world and the Christian's role in this. Since then discipleship has been a passion of Phil's, helping others see the beauty of Christ and establishing them in their own walk with the Lord. Phil learned about EMI in 2017 and did an internship with the EMI Nicaragua office after finishing graduate school in January 2018. For most of 2019 he learned Spanish and worked with a community development ministry in Managua, Nicaragua.


Phil and Olivia met when Phil was finishing his undergraduate work and Olivia was fundraising to come to Nicaragua. They were married in June 2018 in Omaha, NE, Olivia's hometown. While Phil is at EMI, Olivia works with a Christian community development organization based in Managua called CEPAD. In their freetime they enjoy playing volleyball, reading, and getting outdoors to hike, camp, and do all things water-related.