Alastair Hayden Wins SoPHE Young Engineers Award

10th November 2017


Working in Collaboration with Engineers Without Borders UK and Caminos de Agua for the first time in 2017, the Society of Public Health Engineers (SopHE) awarded its Young Engineers Award this year to Alastair Hayden for his design of a bone char water filter adapter.

Now in its tenth year, the SoPHE Young Engineer Award aims to promote the field of public health engineering to the next generation of engineers by inviting them to find solutions to real-life design challenges.

Mr Hayden’s design was deemed to be the most appropriate, sustainable and technically sound. Sylvia Roberge, Engineers Without Borders UK’s International Projects Manager and member of the competition’s judging panel, said “Alastair not only designed a good adapter, he also considered the environmental impact of the materials, as well as making the installation process user-friendly which is important when designing solutions likely to be used in rural contexts where tools may not be available.”

SoPHE also awarded runner up Joshua Dugdale a Special Commendation for his design.

Arsenic and fluoride levels in groundwater in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico have been rising due to overexploitation of aquifers in recent years. Bone char, a naturally occurring porous material, has been found to be a capable adsorbent for contaminant removal. Engineers Without Borders UK has been supporting Caminos de Agua’s work on developing a filter capable of removing arsenic and fluoride from groundwater in Mexico since 2014. You can read more about our ongoing collaboration with Caminos de Agua here.

Mr Hayden currently works for Transport for London as a Leads Signalling Communications Engineer but in his spare time he also volunteers as a Technical Mentor to one of Engineers Without Borders UK’s volunteers in Malaysian Borneo. If you too would like to provide technical support to our international volunteers you can sign up to our newsletter to find out how and when to apply.

If you would like to learn more about our international work why not join us on December 6th for our Lightbulb Talk in London?

You can learn more about the Society of Public Health Engineers here.

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