Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Safe Water World

IDEAS Competition

Safe Water World

Competition Year: 2011

Enabling water quality testing and data collection worldwide!

Education and Training Water and Sanitation Emergency and Disaster Relief

  • Team Members
  • S. F
  • P. Wolfe

Quick Links

Our Pitch

Safe Water World is a project dedicated to meeting the need demonstrated by the international community for water quality testing that is concurrently low-cost and highly accurate. In response to this outcry, we have developed portable, low-cost testing kits that contain easy to execute microbial tests in a design that is durable enough to be used in the field. We provide field ready, low cost, microbial drinking water test kits that are simple to use and do not require the use of electricity for sample incubation. With interest already demonstrated both from within the MIT community and beyond, we are confident that further development of this innovation and exploration of potential use cases could have huge impacts the reduction of water based diseases worldwide.


Who We Are

Samantha O’Keefe Background: Sam is dual registered graduate student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department as well as the Engineering Systems Division. She graduated from MIT in 2009 with a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a minor in Political Science. Sam currently works under Senior Lecturer Susan Murcott on microbial drinking water test methods and has experience designing other appropriate technologies for the developing world.

Philip Wolfe Background: Philip is a graduate student in the Aero/Astro Department and Engineering Systems Division. He graduated in 2008 from Duke with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in History. During his time as an undergraduate Philip worked extensively with Engineers without Borders and travelled to Uganda to implement a rainwater catchment system and perform water quality testing on drinking water sources.

Dr. Afreen Siddiqi Background: Afreen is currently a research scientist in the Engineering Systems Division. Her work focuses on developing analytic tools to “address complex socio-technical systems in developing countries and particularly in water systems from an integrated engineering, planning, and management perspective.” She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. in Aero/Astro and PhD in Aero/Astro all from MIT.

Our Community Partner

Partner Name

Pure Home Water


Tamale, Ghana; Worldwide


Producer and distributor of ceramic water filters in northern Ghana.


  • Service Location
    Tamale, Ghana
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