Duke University Center for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Infectious Disease

The Duke University Center for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Infectious Disease (WaSH-AID) is a collaborative translational research team working closely with more than 20 academic, non-profit, and private industry partners around the world to facilitate the development and sustainable deployment of novel technology-based solutions for health and environmental challenges.

Our research ranges from the design of decentralized onsite waste treatment systems to the exploration of sensors, diagnostics and machine learning to detect pre-symptomatic disease at the individual and community level. 

To achieve our mission, we:

  • Leverage cross-disciplinary expertise and partnerships
  • Work along a continuum from basic and translational science to prototyping, field-testing and commercialization
  • Embrace a user-centered philosophy in all stages of research and development
  • Seek to empower women and girls with gender transformative solutions 


Dried Sludge


Fecal Sludge Drying

Fecal sludge is persnickety, to say the least. Team member Katelyn Sellgren joined a panel of experts for a webinar to explore the difficulties researchers face in the drying of fecal sludge and to discuss potential solutions to these challenges. Fecal sludge is pathogen-rich and drying mitigates [...]

Recent News


March 1, 2019 | MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review

Sanitation without sewers is included in the list of MIT Technology Review's ten breakthrough technologies that will change the world for the better in 2019. 

Edgard in Rwanda

April 3, 2020 | Duke University Pratt School of Engineering

Duke Engineer Wins Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

Edgard Ngaboyamahina, a research scientist in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Nanomaterials and Thin Films Lab and a member of the Duke Center for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Infectious Disease (WaSH-AID) team working to “Reinvent the Toilet,” has been awarded the  [...]

User Interface for Toilets in Durban, South Africa

February 25, 2020 | North Carolina Health News

Can a better toilet save lives? Duke researchers hope so.

University researchers are sharing more than $200 million in grant money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop small-scale sanitation systems. An estimated 4.2 billion people worldwide lack safe human waste disposal systems.