Thanks for visiting!

This project is now in update mode. Check back regularly to see how things are progressing.

Products for Underserved Communities 2018

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
35 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 06, at 09:00 AM CST
Project Owners

Products for Underserved Communities 2018

UPDATE on Nov. 28 2018

AMAZING, AWESOME, INCREDIBLE!  What more can I say about our alums, friends, and colleagues who are supporting Products for Underserved Communities?  Thank you for your belief in our students as they make the world a better place.

We have one more week of fund-raising.  Every donation helps us do more and we promise to use every dollar wisely to change the world.



UPDATE on Nov. 11 2018

Due to the overwhelming generosity of our donors, we surpassed our initial goal of $5000 in less than one week!  Our long term goal is $10,000 per year to allow us to prototype, test, and ship products to the field for testing.  The more you give, the more we can do. Thank you for your amazing support of our students who are changing the world!


How can #ProductsChangeTheWorld?

In the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, we are committed to changing the world through products that help the most vulnerable communities.

Products for Underserved Communities is a new effort developed in response to the passion students have to make the world a better place.  Natural disasters and human conflict produced 134 million people in need in 2018.  Often these people find themselves without infrastructure, water, food, or other necessities and are dependent on humanitarian organizations, like the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) the world’s largest humanitarian organization,  to provide basic needs. 

The engineering requirements for products in these situations vary greatly from those used in highly developed communities due to logistical constraints, limited financial, material, and human resources, and cultural and social considerations. We are partnering with the IFRC, and their engineers are providing invaluable information on needs and design considerations so that these products can be impactful for communities in need.

We want to provide safe water, create clean and healthy surroundings, improve health and hygiene, and increase the safety for women and children by developing new products.  Our teams have already produced concepts for products that will change the world:

  • A water filter with no replaceable parts


  • biodigestor to more efficiently degrade latrine waste



  • A press to remove excess water from latrine waste so that it will dry more quickly


  • A device to fabricate customizable feminine hygiene products

This project won the President's Award for Global Learning.  A multi-disciplinary team will use this device to fabricate customizable sanitary pads and test them in collaboration with the Lebanese Red Cross in Beirut in summer 2019!

  • Future projects: Solar-powered “minimal” lighting for latrines, sensors to transfer information from remote locations


With your help,  we can build prototypes, test our products, and change the world!


Choose a giving level


College Student Activist

Your gift will pay for training manuals to make products sustainable.



Your gift will pay for parts for “minimal” latrine lighting increasing the safety of women and children


Data Cruncher

Your gift will pay for parts for sensors to monitor and deliver data on water usage and quality which will help ensure adequate and safe water supply



Your gift will pay for materials to test low-maintenance water filters.



Your gift will pay for materials for a prototype biodigestor which will improve the health and sanitation in refugee camps



Your gift will pay for materials for prototype sanitary pad press providing a means of on-site fabrication and a source of employment for women in refugee camps



Your gift will pay for a prototype of a press to reduce the water in latrine waste, thus decreasing the time for drying and reuse as fertilizer.

Our Crowdfunding Groups