Phil Iekel

Office Director
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, 2017

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. Within EMI he has led several volunteer project trips and also performed detailed design work in Nicaragua. 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. Together they lead the EMI Nicarauga team as it seeks to serve God's people and join in God's work of restauration and redemption in Latin America. When they're not at the office they enjoy playing volleyball, frisbee, reading, and getting outdoors to hike, camp, and do all things water-related.