Detecting pathogens in sewage sludge


The student-led Cambridge Development Initiative (CDI) have designed and piloted an innovative sewage system to bring cheap and safe sanitation to households that are beyond the reach of urban infrastructure. The system gathers sewage and allows it to heat up in a drum using concentrated solar energy, destroying pathogens and generating two primary products: fuel in the form of methane gas and fertiliser in the form of sludge. CDI needs to ensure that all pathogens are killed through this process, so our team aims to design a sensor that can detect the environmental conditions within the drum and test the resulting sludge for pathogens. The sensor will inform users of the fertilising-quality and pathogenic status of the sludge that is generated.



The Team


Farhaan Khan, Clinical Medical Student, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine,
Has experience in human biological systems, pathogens and laboratory experiments. Can implement biological design and reach out for collaboration with experts in synthetic biology and microbiology.


Samad Arshad, Engineering Graduate
Has experience of working with the sewage sludge system with the Cambridge Development Initiative, can implement technical design, and can reach out for collaboration with the beneficiaries and other engineers. 

Project Outputs

Project Report.png







Project report and documentation on Github



Original proposal and application