There was a great news story in January about Bill Gates drinking a cup of clean water that, five minutes earlier, had been raw sewage.
It was a fantastic PR stunt that drew attention to how engineers can change the world in all sorts of ways.
It was also a good illustration of how trust is important to get our engineering ideas off the ground.
The ‘Omni Processor’, which processes the sewage into drinking water, was created by Janicki Bioenergy; a company which received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
This project reminded me of a similar but separate Gates Foundation initiative called the ‘Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.’ This initiative sought to develop a waterless, hygienic toilet that doesn’t have to be connected to a sewer.