EWB Australia is currently compiling a library of research to support the dissemination of the humanitarian engineering knowledge that is generated through the university research program. Whilst it is under construction we recommend taking a look at recent editions of the Journal of Humanitarian Engineering in which a number of student research outcomes are published. The Journal of Humanitarian Engineering is a peer-reviewed publication that details the outcomes of research and field experiences at the intersection of technology and community development.



Research Papers


The development and delivery of Human Centred Design training in a 2day makertho


Keywords: Engineering education, Human Centred Design, Intensive learning, Problem based learning

Education | Australia | 2017

Improving Quality of WASH Data Collection to Inform Project Operations in CE

The link between improved sanitation systems and human health has been well established. In a Cambodian context, lack of effective sanitation systems and poor hygiene practice result in an estimated 10,000 deaths annually.This research identified and classified the issues being faced by NGOs collecting data in Cambodia. The two most prevalent were communication issues, relating to qualitative processes, and poor practice, arising from the collection of quantitative information.
Keywords: Sanitation, data failures, Cambodia, qualitative, quantitative, challenging environments, granular, NGOs

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Cambodia | 2015

Feasibility of Biodigesters for use in rural Papua New Guinea

The research goal is to develop a framework to assess “if the ATEC M3 biodigester is suitable to dry cocoa beans in Papua New Guinea.” Biodigesters offer a renewable energy source, valuable organic matter and can be used to provide access to sanitation or organic waste disposal facilities. The framework was applied to the Papua New Guinea case study to determine the potential for biodigesters to dry cocoa beans. Key results from the framework indicate that rural users would be able to operate the biodigester optimally and autonomously pending some conditional statements.
Keywords: biodigester, decision framework, Papua New Guinea

Energy;Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Global | 2015

The design of an appropriate and inclusive rice seed planter for rural Cambodia

This project researched the current methods of rice planting in Koh Dambang, and proposed a solution design to remove back pain from this process. The design is built entirely of locally sourced materials, and is simple to constructand accurate in successfully dropping the seed into a dug hole.
Keywords: Rice Seed Planter, Planting Rice, Koh Dambang, Cambodia

Agriculture | Cambodia | 2016

The design of a low cost solar-powered water pump for Koh Dambang

Solar-powered water pumps can be used for irrigation or to meet the personal water demands of remote populations. The proposed system for personalwater pumping was estimated to cost around$560. After consulting with Cambodian Rural Development Teamit was found that some households might even be able to afford the proposed system without having to share it. This has provided an indication that the system is sufficiently low in cost. It would also mean that the roughly 2 cubic metres of water it supplies per day could also be used for irrigating subsistence crops.
Keywords: Low cost, photovoltaic, pump, solar, water

Energy;Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Cambodia;Timor Leste | 2016

Training Cambodian Engineers

An exploration was conducted of the considerations that must be taken when designing and implementing internship programs for STEAM students in Cambodia from the perspective of a remote designer. Recommendations are provided with the caveat that they are subject to a set of biases that may not align with local perspectives, and justified according to the anatomy of an internship program. Measures of success were then evaluated and discussed within the context of both the program and the overarching strategic plans.
Keywords: Cambodia, Higher Education Policy, Internships, Professional Development, Soft Skills

Education | Australia;Cambodia | 2016

Enhancement of the current state of the PFF biodigester technology

The need to provide alternative energy and fuels solution to the refugee communities by adopting renewable and sustainable manner to reduce the ecological environment has been given a high priority from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.The concept of PFF biodigester prototype will be retained, and the first iteration of it was then assessed on its ability to produce a sufficient amount of biogas by incorporating an external heating source called “Hot Composting using Berkeley Method” that was developed by Jean Pain.
Keywords: Biodigester,Refugees, Development, Heat Source, Biogas, Hot Compost, Sustainable Energy

Energy;Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Global | 2015

A Rice Seed Planter for Rural Cambodia

This project aimed to develop a tool to improve the rice planting process in the rural Cambodian community of Koh Dambang, by removing the need for farmers to stoop while sewing seed. A number of existing tool designs were considered and an original designwas developed through the construction of multiple prototypes and a detailed computer-based 3D model.
Keywords: Agriculture Technology, Improved Ergonomics, Improved Rice Planting, Community Profile

Agriculture | Cambodia | 2016

The design of an emergency cook stove for the Asia-Pacific

Access to clean cooking methods is an issue currently facing 3 billion people in the world.The present report details the design of a cook-stove and how an integrated delivery could optimise its impact on a community. The cook-stove design draws on the work of stove makers, philanthropists and engineers to create a “one-size-fits-all” stove that can be utilised both by Asia-Pacific nations and the wider world.The report also details the benefits of educating the wider community about improved cook-stove initiatives.
Keywords: Cook-Stove, Asia-Pacific, Natural Disaster

Energy | Vanuatu;Asia Pacific | 2016

Passive energy concepts for heating, cooling, and ventilating in the lower Himal

Passive energy concepts are extremely important in the context of developing countries, as they provide a means of maintaining thermal comfort in buildings, by applying simple design principles, without the use of electricity. This paper presents the various passive energy concepts that are suitable for the context and makes recommendations as to the most appropriate options for each climate. Shading, ventilation, building orientation and shape, thermal mass, insulation, and window placement were found to have the highest potential impact on thermal comfort, and should therefore be integrated into building design. Further investigation will need to be undertaken to determine how to best adapt these solutions into an earthquake-proof design.
Keywords: Building design, Passive cooling, Passive energy, Passive heating, Passive ventilation

Energy;Shelter | India;Nepal | 2016

The barriers and opportunities in Developing Asia for women in technical roles

here are only 13% of women in engineering. The under-representation of women in STEM is a global issue.The aim of this project is to determine the factor that causes less employment of women in technical fields and obstacles that women face in the technical fields in Cambodia. The research also focuses on enablers to presence, growth and leadership of women in technical sector in Asia. The recommendations provided is flexible and in position for future researchers to conduct a fieldwork at Cambodia to implement the strategies provided or develop new strategies based on the recommendations for their research and analysis.
Keywords: women empowerment, STEM, barriers and enablers, women in technical sector, gender disparity

Professional Practice | Cambodia;Timor Leste | 2016

Energy Efficient Refrigeration for Low-Income Communities in Cambodia

Communities in rural areas of Cambodia currently do not have access to mains electricity, and instead utilise car batteries for their electricity needs. Refrigerators are a staple in western society, however use a lot of power which can keep them out of reach from Cambodians to take advantage of. The aim of this thesis was to improve the efficiency of a refrigerator so that it could be feasibly run from a car battery and solar panel while staying below 3.8°C in a 24-hour period.
Keywords: Buck/Boost, Converter, Power Conversion

Energy | Asia Pacific | 2016

The impacts of non-arsenic pollutants on the effectiveness of arsenic removal

Arsenic contamination in Cambodian groundwater presents an urgent safety hazard. The use of iron-oxide coated sand (IOCS) was found to be an economically feasible and effective adsorbent for arsenic removal. The findings reinforce the effectiveness of IOCS for arsenic removal and pave the way for research into a low cost and efficient arsenic removal strategy tailored to Cambodian water conditions.
Keywords: Arsenic, Groundwater, Iron-oxide coating, Sand quality, Water contamination

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Cambodia | 2015

Improving health evaluations & reporting in humanitarian engineering projects

This thesis produces a health impact evaluation framework for proposed humanitarian engineering projects. The framework is targeted at being a planning phase tool for international development projects in South-East Asia and the Pacific incorporating humanitarian engineering and having the potential to impact the health of stakeholders.
Keywords: Framework evaluation, Health impacts, Humanitarian engineering, International development, Project management.

International Development | Global | 2015

Investigating titanium photocatalytic oxidation for water treatment in Cambodia

The access to improved drinking wateris a major problem for rural Cambodia with over 4.3 million people drinking, cooking and cleaning with contaminated wastewater.A systems engineering process was used to create functional and system requirements of the reactor system. For optimum results, future reactor designs should use an alkaline solution, high surface area TiO2 thin films and an artificial light source with a light concentrator.
Keywords: Photocatalytic Oxidation, Rural Cambodia, Titanium Dioxide, Water Treatment.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Cambodia | 2015

Harvesting wind energy using fluid-elastic flutter

This research aimed to address the need for asimple, low-costelectricity source inremote communities. A fully-passive flapping foil turbine was chosen as the electrical generator due to it meeting the requirements set out. Using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) software, different turbine design parameters were tested with optimising power output as the prime objective. Basic trends of increasing energy harvesting potential were found, but no definitive results were obtained due to time constraints in the research project. Areas for improvement and further development have been determined.
Keywords: Renewable, energy, sustainable, wind, power

Energy;Shelter | India;Nepal | 2016

Testing Of 3D Printed Medical Grade Paediatric Ankle Foot Orthotics

The 3D printing of medical devices is revolutionizing the health care industry, giving new hope to millions of people in need of assistance.
Keywords: Tensile testing, fatigue testing, materials testing, static testing, UV, Sweat, Orthotics

Assistive Technology | Australia | 2016

Formulation of a performance model to aid design of spiral pumps

Several options for low cost water pumping were explored and it was determined that a spiral water pump design is a promising option for contexts such as this. Spiral pumps have a simple design and can be made from locally available materials. A major challenge of installing spiral pumps is in determining the required size of components to meet certain flow rate and elevation needs. To help design and optimise spiral pumps an analytical model was produced
Keywords: Appropriate Technology, rural development, spiral pump

Energy;Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Cambodia;Timor Leste | 2016

Understanding the seismic behaviour of free-standing gabion walls

Nepal is located in one of the most seismically active regions in the world and remains vulnerable to catastrophic disaster due to local and traditionally built structures being inadequate to withstanding high magnitude earthquakes. Using gabions to construct houses is still highly experimental, and though its use in Nepal could be advantageous due to it being low-cost, environmentally durable and requiring low skill to construct; it is hard to determine whether this alternative construction method is feasible in such seismic regions as there is a clear lack of literature surrounding the seismic behaviour of gabion walls let alone gabion houses. Through the completion of this research, recommendations and comments on the appropriateness of using gabions for earthquake proof construction in Nepal will be given; for in hope that one day it could improve earthquake proof design and construction as well as preserve life.
Keywords: Earthquake, Gabion, Gabion wall, Nepal, Seismic behavior, Seismic response.

Shelter | Nepal;Asia Pacific | 2016

The Efficiency of Moringaoleiferain Reducing the Arsenic in drinking water

This project’s aim was to investigate the viability of M.oleifera being a filter medium in a Cambodian context. M.oleiferais economically viable, socially appropriate and environmentally beneficial. The results showed that M.oleiferawas able to reduce the levels of arsenic in water to meet Cambodian guidelines. This was investigated by looking at 100 mL of 150 ppb of three different arsenic solutions and assessing the efficiency of M.oleiferaat reducing the arsenic concentration
Keywords: Moringa oleifera, arsenic, Cambodia, filter, sustainability

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Cambodia | 2015