Students' sludge solution wins internships at GHD

Friday, 31 July, 2020

Students' sludge solution wins internships at GHD

Two engineering students at the University of Sydney — Vanathy Arudselvan and Yeeun Cho — have developed a more hygienic, dignified and safer way to dislodge latrine sludge in developing countries, earning them paid internships at GHD.

The duo received the GHD Humanitarian Internship Prize presented at the Humanitarian Innovation (Digital) Hackathon hosted by engineering think-tank the Warren Centre. The weekend-long virtual event brought together university students to work collaboratively in cross-discipline teams to create technology-driven solutions for the most pressing humanitarian challenges.

During their internships, the students will gain experience in their preferred area within GHD, including Indigenous Services, Water, International Development Assistance and GHD Advisory.

Vanathy Arudselvan (L) and Yeeun Cho (R) developed a more hygienic, dignified and safer way to dislodge latrine sludge.

Vanathy and Yeeun’s winning entry was the ‘Sterculius’, a device that uses cheap and widely available materials like rods and PVC pipes to dislodge the latrine sludge while minimising human exposure.

“While the world’s attention is focused on COVID-19, Vanathy and Yeeun’s solution reminds us that many people around the world still suffer serious yet easily preventable diseases linked to inadequate sanitation,” said Richard Fechner, Global Leader of GHD Advisory and a Governor of the Warren Centre.

“It’s really exciting to see university students develop cutting-edge solutions that could save lives globally and this is aligned with GHD’s purpose of creating lasting community benefit.”

Vanathy said, “Engineers play an invaluable role in sustainable development, a key to addressing issues faced by the millions of people worldwide impacted by poverty, conflict and the effects of climate change. My ambition is to forge a career in international development that will allow me to do my part in working towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and beyond.”

Yeeun said, “I endeavour to use my skills to make a positive impact on my society through innovative projects, and this is the beginning of my journey.”

Image credit: ©

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