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Engineering as Missions: A Biomedical Waste Incinerator

March 4, 2021

Dr. Kirsten Dodson.

Dr. Kirsten Dodson serving through engineering missions.

Engineering Student Designs Medical Waste Incinerator for Medical Facilities in Honduras

For the second episode of Not a Trip, we sit down with the team leader of the incinerator project, as well as staff and faculty involved with the Peugeot Center for Engineering Service in Developing Communities. 

Recent engineering graduate, Nathan Klemz, led a team of engineering students to build his design for a medical waste incinerator that is affordable to duplicate and sustainable to maintain. Klemz, a student of Dr. Kirsten Dodson, demonstrated the prototype for Amanda Madrid, MD, P.hD and CEO of Predisan Health Ministries, a Lipscomb Missions partner. She was thrilled to see it in action and said “This will be an answer to prayers all over the country. We have searched everywhere to purchase something affordable, but anything we found on the market is too high tech to maintain in most of our locations, especially the hard to reach areas we serve.” 

“Currently the country’s health facilities have no safe way to dispose of medical waste. The adobe style incinerators do not get hot enough to destroy the pathogens.” said David Fann, (Electrical and Computer Engineering Board of Advisors and mission team leader). Steve Sherman, (Executive Director of the Peugeot Center), added, “The prototype will leave on a shipment to the headquarters of Predisan in Honduras.” Sherman said he had received interest from partners in Malawi and Guatemala as well as others around the world. Their hope is that this project will be an affordable and beneficial for many developing countries.

Dr. Dodson is a valued member of the engineering community at Lipscomb and has been instilling her belief in the power of engineering as mission with her students. She shared, "I got involved in engineering missions when I was a student at Lipscomb. I actually grew up in an engineering family... it was a very common field to me but it wasn't until I got to Lipscomb that I understood engineering could be used for service." This passion inspired her to continue in her engineering education and use her skills for the betterment of communities. As a team leader, Kirsten models for our students what it looks like to use your specific gifts and career to further the Kingdom of God.

Director of Operations of the Peugeot Center, Daniela Baugh, is a former student of the Lipscomb Engineering program and has been on eight trips with the Peugeot Center. She shared that she is currently working her dream job and loves every moment that she spends encouraging students as they discover their vocation: "You can spend an entire year with a student, working with them daily, but when we're on these trips, you see their life change. You see their entire thought process of what engineering is change."

Other students involved with this project in 2020 included: Sam Shaylor, Matthew Moore, Abdus Samad, Austin Eager, Daniel Etson, Payton Otto, Kenzie Cohn, Liana Tacconelli, Anna Bailey, and Kate Owens.



To listen to the full conversation, please listen to the Not a Trip episode HERE!

Not a Trip