Navigation Links
University of Toronto wins third place at the Gates Foundation's Reinvent the Toilet Challenge

A University of Toronto (U of T) team led by Engineering Professor Yu-Ling Cheng, Director of the Centre for Global Engineering, has garnered third place and $40,000 (USD) for their design of a toilet for the developing world.

The design was a response to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, which seeks to develop a waterless, hygienic toilet that is safe and affordable for people in the developing world that doesn't have to be connected to a sewer.

U of T was one of eight universities from around the world to receive the initial phase one funding of almost $400,000 each. That investment allowed the teams to test their conceptual design. Those designs are being showcased this week at the Gates Foundation's Seattle headquarters, where the Reinvent the Toilet Fair is being held.

The U of T solution is novel in its simplicity. It uses a sand filter and UV-ray disinfecting chamber to process liquid waste and a smolder chamber, similar to a charcoal barbeque, to incinerate solid waste that has been flattened and dried in a roller/belt assembly. The result is a toilet that is sustainable, easy to use and that processes waste while protecting the community from contamination. A video fully explaining the design can be found here:

"A lot of science has gone into our work, but we have been careful in our design to ensure that any of the equipment and processes we use can be easily repaired and managed in a remote community by people with limited resources and training," explained Professor Cheng. "The result is a toilet design that will not only address the pressing challenges associated with poor sanitation, but is sustainable and usable by some of the poorest people in the world."

Traditional toilets, which rely on running water, an extensive sewer network and an expensive processing system, are currently failing to the meet the needs of 2.5-billion people around the world according to the Gates Foundation. An estimated 1.5-million children die each year due to diarrhea caused by poor sanitation.

At a ceremony held today at the Fair, Bill Gates announced the U of T team has won third place. Also recognized were teams from California Institute of Technology (first place; $100,000), Loughborough University in the United Kingdom (second place; $60,000 USD), with a special prize presented to Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and EOOS ($40,000 USD).

"The efforts of the University of Toronto team, who is tackling one of the world's pressing health challenges, have been tremendous. I congratulate the entire team for this richly deserved award, and thank Professor Yu-Ling Cheng who has led the development of this novel toilet system, combining ingenious designs and research with social and geographic constraints, to improve sanitation and global health," said Professor Cristina Amon, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.

In addition to Professor Cheng, the U of T team included Engineering Professors Mark Kortschot, Elizabeth Edwards, Yuri Lawryshyn and Levente Diosady, and research associates/graduate students Zachary Fishman, Tiffany Jung and Samuel Melamed. Their efforts were supported by partners at the University of Edinburgh, Western University, OCAD University and technical experts in Bangladesh.


Contact: Liam Mitchell
University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

Related biology news :

1. NIH backs Rice University study of delay in gene transcription networks
2. New forensic institute at the University of Leicester will help police forces solve unusual crimes
3. University of Tennessee professor releases weight management product
4. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev receives $450,000 grant to conduct oil and natural gas research
5. Queens University Belfast makes significant cancer breakthrough
6. BGI partners with the University of Birmingham
7. University of Illinois professor develops tool that helps dietitians deliver info clients need and can understand
8. University of Leeds and Chinese Academy of Sciences join forces
9. NASA and university researchers find a clue to how life turned left
10. University of Texas Medical Branch selected to manage Center for Polar Medical Operations
11. University of Albertas designer compounds inhibit prion infection
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/2/2015)...  SRI International has been awarded a contract of ... to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) PREVENT Cancer Program ... modern testing and support facilities, and analytical instrumentation to ... studies to evaluate potential cancer prevention drugs. ... Drug Development Program is an NCI-supported pipeline to bring ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today ... distribution of its DNA library preparation products, including ... new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been ... of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of ... prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 27, 2015 In the present market scenario, ... for various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, ... growing demand for secure & simplified access control and ... as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , ... as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... AVIV, Israel , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: ... held on December 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel ... Co., Electra Tower, 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, ... election of Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to ... and Rami Skaliter as external directors; , approval of an amendment ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Urdorf, Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... the plant and the environment are paramount. Insertion points for in-line sensors can ... TOLEDO has developed the InTrac 781/784 series of retractable sensor housings , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Telbec/ - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) (OTCQX: PFSCF) ... Laurin , President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic, will ... 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference to be held at ... st , at 8.50am (ET) and ProMetic,s management ... The presentation will be available live via a webcast accessible ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  PDL BioPharma, Inc. (PDL) (NASDAQ: ... , the company,s president and chief executive officer, will present ... next week in New York City . ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. EST. ... to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: