Award-winning student design helps deprived communities reuse washing machine water

1 min read

Coventry University student Joe Baker has won an international award and funding for his design which aims to filter washing machine water and make it reusable for people in deprived communities and regions.

The design consists of a platform that raises the washing machine, allowing water to flow through a filtration system which removes contaminants such as dirt and micro-plastics.
The design consists of a platform that raises the washing machine, allowing water to flow through a filtration system which removes contaminants such as dirt and micro-plastics. - Image: DesignSpark

Joe Baker entered DesignSpark’s People Planet Product competition as part of the Washing Machine Project, an initiative which aims to make low-tech washing machines accessible to low-income communities which have limited access to water and electricity.

Joe’s design consists of a platform that raises the washing machine, allowing water to flow through a filtration system which removes contaminants such as dirt and micro-plastics and enable the water to be reused for purposes such as 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 respectively. Along with the award itself, Joe has now been granted £1,000 to invest in developing the design concept, which he is setting out to do next semester as part of an individual project.

Joe 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: “We were absolutely delighted to see Joe’s innovation and hard work pay off with this 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.”