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This UARTS Faculty Engineering/Arts Student Team (FEAST) is partnered with a small ceramic water filter factory in Kathmandu. Our goal is to assist in improving filter construction, testing, and marketing. Ceramic water filters are very effective at preventing water borne illnesses and can be manufactured locally at an affordable price. This team will learn the context of water issues in Nepal, the context of the NGO partner, and develop improved strategies to test and implement in partnership.

This team will develop better construction, testing, and shipping methods, create survey instruments and data collection strategies, and develop and test marketing materials for the filters. This will advance the research of the filters and the goals of improved filters, data collection on efficacy, and improved marketing and distribution of the filters. The team will assist in developing standardized studio protocols for processing, construction, firing and testing of filters. In addition, the team will assist in developing a health survey strategy for efficacy of the filters in the context in rural Nepal, with potential extension to a new project site in Ethiopia.

Meeting Time
Fridays, 8:00-10:00am

Students apply to a specific role on team as follows:

Public Health Surveys (3 Students)

Preferred Skills: Survey method, data analysis, Public Health coursework


Marketing (3 Students)

Preferred Skills: Web and print materials, pricing strategies, audience identification


Fabrication & Prototyping (3 Students)

Preferred Skills: Handson experience with clay, wood, metal, and associated tools

Likely Majors: ARTDES, ARCH, CEE, ME, MSE

Water Quality Testing (3 Students)

Preferred Skills: Water standards, drinking water testing, WHO standards

Likely Majors: CEE, EARTH, ENVIRON, CHEM, ChemE

Faculty Project Lead

Joseph Trumpey is a Transition Designer, Science Illustrator, Educator, and Farmer. He holds appointments at the Stamps School of Art & Design, Program in the Environment, and School for the Environment and Sustainability. Joe directs U-M’s Sustainable Living Experience, a living/learning community for first-year undergraduates. He has expertise in Sustainable Design-Build work, community-based co-design work, and as an illustrator. He has published thousands of illustrations and lectures widely. He and his family live off of the electrical grid in a straw bale home he designed and built in Grass Lake, Michigan. They haven’t burned a gram of fossil fuel to heat their home, their water, or cook their food in more than a decade of Michigan winters. They farm heritage breed livestock and grow more than half of their annual food.

Students: 12


Summer Opportunity: Summer research fellowships may be available for qualifying students.

Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students on campus.

IP/NDA: Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign an Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement prior to participation in January 2021.

Course Substitutions: CoE Honors