A COVENTRY University student who invented a device to filter washing machine water to make it reusable for people in deprived communities and regions has won an international award and funding.
Joe Baker, 20, entered DesignSpark’s People Planet Product competition as part of the Washing Machine Project – a scheme aiming to make low-tech washing machines accessible to low-income communities with limited access to water and electricity.
In large parts of countries such as India, clothes have to be washed by hand, which is time-consuming, tiring and inefficient.
Joe’s design eases the burden of washing clothes so people can devote more time to things like education.
It consists of a platform which raises the washing machine, allowing the water to flow through a filtration system which removes contaminants, such as dirt and microplastics. The water can then be reused for cooking.
Joe was the one and only winner from Europe crowned in the Planet category of the competition with the other two winning designs coming from Africa and Asia.
Joe has now been granted £1,000 to invest in developing the design concept which he will do next semester as part of an individual project.
He said: “I’ve always wanted to get into humanitarian and sustainable engineering so this was a project that really appealed to me as it presented an opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives as well as contributing towards a concept that could make an everyday necessity like washing clothes far more sustainable moving forward.”
He now has long-term ambitions and hopes to develop a prototype of his design at Coventry University, eventually building a business around it in a bid to help both people and the planet.
Nick Golsby, Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Automotive Engineering at Coventry University, said everyone was absolutely delighted to see Joe’s innovation and hard work pay off with the award.
“It’s fantastic to see his desire to put the engineering knowledge and expertise he’s building through his studies with us into practice for a humanitarian cause that could ultimately make a really profound difference to people from deprived backgrounds.
“We now look forward with excitement to helping Joe develop his prototype at Coventry University.”
Click here to find out more about Coventry University’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing.