Safe Soil

Researchers and practitioners need tools to quantify more accurately what can be gained from sanitation interventions in settlements with low hygienic conditions. Today most tests for bacteriological contamination look for the presence of E. coli, which doesn’t reflect the dozens of viral and protozoan pathogens that could be lurking in the environment and are dangerous to humans. Testing for the latter requires quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assays, which require specialised laboratory equipment and training and even transport to Western countries for analysis. Local public health experts need to unravel the puzzle of multiple risk exposure pathways in order to take effective measures to improve hygienic conditions.

Project Team

Diego Cammarano

Diego is a computer scientist currently working at EMA in London, supporting the development, planning and testing activities related to the new EU Clinical trials and EV Vet portals. During his master’s degree in Computer Science he worked at INGV in Rome, developing satellite data processing algorithms used for monitoring the main Italian volcanic areas. He is mainly interested to the applications of computer science in different research fields and sectors as healthcare, earth observation, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, considering their innovative solutions very important and strategic in everyone’s life in the next years. He loves to travel, sharing ideas and experiences, cycling, TED/TEDx talks, music and photography.

John Brogan

John has worked in international development and humanitarian relief projects for 20 years with a focus on water sanitation, hygiene, disaster risk reduction, nutrition, and child protection in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Volunteering experiences at various points in his career have been tremendous portals for insight and fulfillment, especially with the Peace Corps in rural Mauritania and with the Isha Foundation in southern India. At Terre des hommes (Tdh), John currently leads initiatives on water, environment, livelihood and disaster risk management. With colleagues in the Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium, they recently published the Blue Schools Toolkit designed to help children learn about Sustainable Development Goal #6, including sustainable land and water management techniques.

Kai Nino Streicher

Kai’s natural curiosity and the motivation to contribute to a more sustainable way of treating our planet drove him to pursue a PhD in energy efficiency at the University of Geneva. Equipped with technical knowledge from his engineering studies and the broad perspective of an interdisciplinary master in science for sustainable development, he is working on analysing the technical, economic and environmental potential of energy savings for buildings. His works include modelling of the energy demand based on big data analysis using R. The world of digital art (ranging from illustrations to photo and video editing), self-made music as well as the surrounding lakes and mountains counterbalances his day to day work as researcher and lecturer.

Kelly K Baker

Dr. Baker is an Assistant Professor in Occupational and Environmental Health, and Epidemiology at the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health, and is a faculty member of the Sustainable Water Development Program in the College of Engineering. She received her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and then training in global health epidemiology at the Center for Vaccine Development. Her research explores how unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions and domestic animal disease vectors affect maternal and child health outcomes in low and middle income countries across Asia and Africa, and in Haiti. She uses integrated exposure assessment and epidemiology studies to identify disease transmission patterns, and designs and evaluates the impact of interventions for preventing enteric infections. She teaches a graduate Global Water and Health course and a Global Public Health undergraduate course. She serves on the Board of Global Health for the National Academy of Medicine Engineering and Science, and is an advisor to the World Bank, World Health Organisation, and UNICEF on global health policy and practice. Personal hobbies include rock climbing and mountaineering, cooking, and gardening.

Kitty Liao

Kitty is an entrepreneur, engineer and innovator. She is a hackathon enthusiast and she has been with THE Port since its launch in 2014. She has 10+ years of experience in low-temperature and multi-disciplinary systems, user-centred design, vaccine cold-chain in hard-to-reach and remote areas, design for low-resource settings, prototyping and project management. She is founder and CEO of Ideabatic, an award-winning social enterprise. She is an Enterprise Fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK). Kitty enjoys travelling, designing and making her own clothes, cooking and swimming.

Oliver Paul

Oliver is a mechanical engineer currently working in the Future of Energy team at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. Oliver has experience across the tech startup scene, offshore oil and gas exploration and in the disaster response NGO sector, having worked within a number of disaster zones between Peru and the Philippines. A lover of the mountains; Oliver is also a passionate paraglider pilot, kite-surfer, skier and alpinist.

Saco Heijboer

Saco is both a thinker and a tinkerer. Designing and making things in which functionality and form come together and complete the whole is his goal. Product development has been his passion and profession for 30 years; he has led projects for train refurbishment, production machinery and measurement equipment, always searching for new ways to solve design problems. Saco’s education covers civil, mechanical and control engineering, sociology, art, photography and graphic design. And he still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up.

Sara Zahedinezhad

Sara is a Civil and Environmental engineer, who holds a master’s degree in Water, Environment and Coastal Engineering from the Leibniz University of Hannover and is currently working as a project engineer in Munich; she also has a background in music, arts, and literature. Growing up in Tehran, an overpopulated city with a soaring crisis of extreme pollution made her aware and vigilant of the impact of anthropogenic activities. So realizing her lifelong dream, she has launched a mission of finding innovative approaches to mitigate environmental problems.

Surbhi Mundra

Surbhi is an electronics engineer hailing from India and currently working at CERN as a graduate fellow. She has previously worked in the fields of neuro-electronics, medical electronics and particle detectors. She was part of social group in her university and is a strong supporter of avoiding plastic use. She loves gardening and experimenting with reuse of plastic container for her plants. She has lived in India, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland and loves working with multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams. She believes that when a people with different backgrounds come together, simple and most innovative solutions originate.

Viviane Praz

Viviane has been trained as a biologist, but then took the U-turn towards bioinformatics some fifteen years ago. She currently works at the University of Lausanne, doing fundamental research on the polymerases, and at the Experimental Pathology Service at the CHUV doing more applied bioinformatics in Cancer epigenetics. Viviane has a quite serious knowledge in Genomics, Epigenetics, and Transcriptomics. She also participated in the setup of analysis protocols for challenging High Throughput Sequencing data, like repeated genomic regions or short genes.

Safe Soil