I spent this past week and a half in South Africa with my Engineering Capstone team taking part in vital context learning and attending the AfricaSan5/FSM5 conference, sponsored by the Gates Foundation. We’re designing novel conveyance methods to transport fecal sludge from the pit side to the roadside within Gate’s omni-ingestor architecture. We took 3 days in Johannesburg to engage with pit users and emptiers, and observe and interview stakeholders in our potential designs. From there, we traveled to Capetown for the AfricaSan5/FSM5 conference. The conference takes place every two years and is the largest gathering of sanitation experts worldwide. While there, we attended important networking events and technical sessions and dove deep into our understanding of current methods and why they are used (or not), testing our assumptions on our methods. Now, my team will be heading off to The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) for a series of workshops with Jon Shaw and Associates and UKZN students and faculty to ideate next generation conveyance methods. Meanwhile, I’m headed off to Denver for the SME2019 Annual Conference and Expo.