Info For
Skip to Content
Engineering students wearing traditional Bangladeshi clothes

Students Design Water Filtration System for Bangladesh Hospital

  • By: Ansley Kary
  • Published:
engineering students stand next to hospital in Bangladesh

Taylor’s ABET-accredited Engineering Program goes the extra mile to provide students opportunities for professional growth and development. Whatever passions you may have, you’ll be equipped with all the tools necessary for your future as an engineer. Mission-minded professors partner with students to design and develop projects that impact the world for good.  

From Bangladesh to Upland and Back: Worldwide Connections

Before accepting his job at Taylor, Associate Professor of Physics and Engineering Peter Staritz served in Bangladesh, a small country in South Asia, as a part of a missionary team working to construct and operate a Christian hospital. After two and a half years of faithful service, Staritz returned to the United States. 

Several years later, some of Staritz’s former colleagues reached out to ask if he could aid them in solving the clean water crisis that plagued another Christian hospital in Bangladesh, located in the town of Chandraghona. Staritz instantly saw this as an opportunity for Taylor students to get involved in engineering a solution to a real-world problem. Hannah Brackenbury ‘24 and David Mitchell ‘24 were asked to join Staritz as summer interns and help design a reliable and cost-effective water filtration system for the hospital and surrounding campus. 

“To me, working on the water filtration system was an incredible opportunity not only to grow in my engineering skills and experience, but more importantly to use the abilities and resources my team and I have to serve and give to those who are in need,” Brackenbury said. 

The Mission of Water Filtration 

In the summer of 2022, Staritz and his students traveled to Bangladesh to collect data needed to design the water filtration system for Chandraghona Hospital. The team looked at how to construct a filtration system that would support the water needs of more than 300 people daily. While there, the students surveyed the hospital campus, took water samples, measured flow rates, met the people they were serving and gained invaluable cross-cultural experience.  

After returning to the US, Brackenbury and Mitchell spent their summer researching, designing, and documenting with the help and guidance of Staritz and other engineering professionals.

Real-World Engineering Experience 

This project not only benefits the people in Bangladesh, but provides an invaluable experience for students like Brackenbury and Mitchell.

Staritz says the pair learned an incredible amount through their work on the project. The students employed numerous Taylor-taught skills including: researching, performing analyses, component design, employing CAD tools, presenting, documenting, and more.

“I worked with them as much as they needed help, but for the most part I asked them to do the work,” Staritz said. “They designed a full system.”

This project is just one of many that Taylor students can participate in. All Taylor engineering students take part in a Capstone Project in which they design systems with real-world application. The complexity and depth of the Capstone Project at Taylor is a unique opportunity and a hallmark of the program. This project develops over the course of four semesters of research, design, development and testing as an entire graduating class works to produce an end product. 

Currently the graduating class of ‘23 is working on developing tools and methods to advance 3D printing of habitable structures on Mars. Building off this work, the class of ‘24 will be engineering a radiation-resistant greenhouse for the harsh environment of Mars. Engineering students are able to build and test their designs through funding from the Indiana Space Grant, a NASA program. 

On Mission  

“My experience working on the water project is a testimony to the fruit that comes from personal relationships with professors who are working for the Lord,” Brackenbury said. “I have been so blessed to learn so much within the classroom, and also just as much outside because the professors want to connect with and pour into us.”

Staritz sees engineering as an opportunity to roll back the effects of sin in the world. He and his students are designing solutions that will reduce the number of people getting sick from the water they drink. In doing so, they are sharing God’s grace and carrying Christ’s love to the world. 

“In serving this way, I hope to reflect our King well,” Staritz said. 

The current water filtration project will continue, with future trips back to Bangladesh to install and test the system. The team is currently waiting for feedback on their design from outside experts and look forward to bringing the project to completion. They also look forward to involving new students in the continuing work.

Learn More

Students have conducted graduate-level research for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Air Force; participated in projects like the Central American water well drilling ministry; and taken part in prestigious summer internships at major labs such as Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Argonne National Lab, FermiLab, and the Mayo Clinic. Graduates have been hired by world-renowned companies like CERN, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Kratos and Raytheon. Schedule a visit and see what Taylor can offer!