Team Sanivation Wins 2014 InVenture Prize

An inexpensive, mobile solution to help nearly 2.6 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to hygienic bathrooms won the 2014 InVenture Prize at Georgia Tech Wednesday night.

Team Sanivation received $20,000, a free U.S. patent filing by Georgia Tech’s Office of Technology Licensing and a spot in this summer’s class of Flashpoint, a Georgia Tech startup accelerator program. The team also won the $5,000 People’s Choice Award.

Team members are: Brandie Banner, environmental engineering major from Alpharetta, Ga.; Jasmine Burton, industrial design major and CEE student assistant from Dunwoody, Ga.; and Erin Cobb, industrial design major from Atlanta, Ga. The team developed the toilet design in a mechanical engineering/industrial design multi-disciplinary senior design section.

"Since the team included a CEE student, I agreed for her to register in my section of CEE4090 and that I would serve as one advisor for the team," says CEEatGT Professor of the Practice John H Koon. "The team was a great one and I really enjoyed working with them. Their work demonstrated to me the value of multi-disciplinary team work."

The sponsor for the project is Sanivation, an organization which develops and implements solutions to sanitation problems in the developing world. One of the leaders in Sanivation is Andrew Foote, a former CEEatGT student.

Via Georgia Tech newsroom:

“We are so thankful for the support and encouragement we have received from everyone,” said Erin. “We are exposing an issue that is considered taboo and we are excited to give this important issue more attention."

Their SafiChoo Toilet is a safer, cleaner way of using a toilet to replace the pit latrines often found in the developing world and refugee camps. The device has received preliminary support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Second place went to the Sucette Smart Soother, a modernized pacifier designed to fit more naturally with a baby’s mouth and growing dental structure. The pacifier changes color when the baby has a fever.

The team received $10,000 and a free U.S. patent filing.

“We worked so hard and went through so many prototypes,” said team member Will McAllister, a biomedical engineering major from Charlotte, N.C. “It’s exciting to get this recognition and support from the judges.”

The other team members are: Rachel Ford, a biomedical engineering major from Powder Springs, Ga.; and Esteban Ongini, a biomedical engineering major from Miami.

The InVenture Prize is an annual contest that rewards undergraduate students for big innovations that aim to solve the world’s problems.

Nearly 560 students signed up for this year’s contest – the largest ever. The group was narrowed to the six teams who competed in the finale, which was broadcast live on Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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