Reinventing the Toilet: Improving Waste Management in Developing Regions

The REU fellows attended their first faculty seminar of the summer provided by Dr. Edgard Ngaboyamahina. Dr. Ngaboyamahina is a Research Scientist with the Nanomaterials and Thin Films Lab at the Pratt School of Engineering's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His talk titled "Reinventing the Toilet: Improving Waste Management in Developing Regions", is related to two Grand Challenges of Engineering (e.g., Provide access to clean water; Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure).

In this grand challenge research seminar Dr. Ngaboyamahina described the importance of improving the sanitation levels in developing coutries. He showed the negative impact poor sanitation conditions have on communities that have limited resources (e.g., water and energy). He showed how in order to increase productivity; reduce health care costs; and prevent illness, disability or early death; we must engineer more reliable and sustainable infrastructures. The speaker presented the work that has been done to address these issues, as well as the challenges we face in order to provide safe human waste disposal in all locations.