The SAFEWATER Translate Team

The Translate team is multidisciplinary, with expertise across engineering, microbiology, environmental science, chemistry and social sciences. The team is led by experts in water quality assessment and measurement.

The core team at Ulster is based at the School of Engineering and is led by Professors Jim McLaughlin and Tony Byrne. Co-Investigators include Dr Pilar Fernandez-Ibanez (School of Engineering), Dr Michael Brennan (Ulster Business School) and Professor James Dooley (School of Biomedical Sciences).

The CoIs on Translate are Dr Fermin Reygadas (Cantaro Azul), Prof Luis Fernando Barth Tobar (CTA), Dr Buddhi man Shrestha (KDCH), Dr Nabaraj Adhikari (Med Micro), Dr Mekonen Teferi (Mekelle University), Dr Luis Javier Montoya Jaramillo (University de Medellin); Dr Lyda Patricia Sabogal-Paz (USP); Dr Save Kumwenda (WASHTED).

The partner teams bring a depth of experience in water quality analysis across LMIC regions. Each team is led by a Co-Investigator (CoI) with expertise in microbiology, environmental science and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) inititatives and delivery.

The collaborative approach adopted by all partners has facilitated a deeper knowledge and understanding of the challenges of water quality monitoring in urban and rural communities, and the opportunities for implementation of the SAFEWATER research and technologies to address these challenges.

Ulster University, UK

Ulster University is a multi-campus public university located in Northern Ireland. The University is a leading modern university ranked in the top 150 global institutions under 50 years of age in The Times Higher Education 150 Under 50 World University rankings. As Northern Ireland’s civic university, it is one of the top-five UK universities for widening participation to higher education and is first in Northern Ireland.

Centre of Science and Technology of Antioquia (CTA), Colombia

The Centre of Science and Technology of Antioquia – CTA-, is a non-profit private corporation with more than 28 years leading the structure of the triad University-State-company, in the creation and transfer of scientific and technological knowledge, in responding appropriately to the changing needs of the territories, their communities, and organizations, and enabling the social appropriation of knowledge.

Fundación Cántaro Azul, Mexico

Fundacion Cantaro Azul is a Mexican civil association with 12 years’ experience working together with rural communities, enabling more than 30,000 people to have access to safe water in several states of the country. Initially focused on the development of water technologies appropriate for rural contexts, the organization has evolved towards the generation of integral and participatory strategies, along with a strategy of systemic change focused on reducing the inequality gap that exists around the human right to water and sanitation in Mexico.

Kantipur Dental & Research Centre, Nepal

Kantipur Dental College Teaching Hospital & Research Centre (KDCH) has evolved as a centre of excellence producing highly qualified and skilled dental professionals. KDCH’s dental college is the first and foremost affiliated with Kathmandu University and offers Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) programs recognized by Nepal Medical Council (NMC) and Ministry of Education Government of Nepal. With a 100 bedded General hospital and 150 dental chairs dental hospital KDCH is devoted to contributing significantly towards the overall health care and development of the country. KDCH has also also partnered with several national and international institutions, and various community and public health programs through its satellite centres that enable it to add strength in achieving the mission.

Med Micro Research Laboratory, Nepal

Med Micro Research Laboratory Pvt Ltd, registered under the act of Nepal Government, is run by a team of professional microbiologists and provides service-based laboratory facilities for water and food testing. Established in 2015 its main objective is to provide consultation services regarding tools and techniques for microbial applications to other related sectors and institutions, including both the government and the private sector. The Institute also provides premises for research activities for bachelor’s and master’s degree students in collaboration with Tribhuvan University of Nepal. Over the last few years the team has also provided training activities to dairy technicians in collaboration with the authority of Nepal Government highlighting the role of water in the contamination of dairy products in Nepal.

Mekelle University, Ethiopia

Mekelle University was established in 2000 as a public university and training institution. It is one of the largest universities in Ethiopia with a student intake capacity of 30,000 and employs over 6,000 staff across 6 campuses. According to the new Ethiopian Universalities classification, MU is classified as a Research University. It has a wide range of international partnerships and is engaged in collaborative research and development work in water quality and environmental issues. The main objectives include capacity building in the field of water quality, laboratory technology, medical microbiology, and disseminating information to national and international stakeholders. The departments of Biology and Medical Microbiology and Immunology have built expertise in water quality projects and medical microbiology through national and international project collaborations, including VLIR-UOS (Belgium) funded projects under the framework of MU-IUC collaboration: Mekelle University – VLIR UOS Institutional University cooperation program (2003-2013); Fish Development in Tigray: Ecological potential and consequences (2014-2018); Win-win protein: reconciling fish protein generation and water quality management (2018-2021) and EC funded project WATERSPOUTT: Water Sustainable Point Of Use Treatment Technologies (2016-2020).

University of Medellin, Colombia

The University of Medellin’s vision is to promote higher education through academic excellence, a culture for research and social responsibility to contribute to regional and national development in an international context. The university research system is guided on the logic of knowledge management and strengthens the advance the its policy as part of a national and regional Science, Technology and Innovation System (CT+I). It also adopts from each one of its academic niches research fields to establish a pertinent agenda prioritization in strategic development fields.

University of São Paulo, Brazil

The University of São Paulo is a large University of over 80,000 students spread over 11 campuses, in 42 teaching and research units, offering 249 undergraduate courses and 239 postgraduate programs in all areas of knowledge. Currently, USP is responsible for 22% of the scientific production in Brazil. It is one of the largest institutions of higher education in Latin America. All this investment in the quest for excellence yields to university a high standard on a world scale, both in teaching and in research. The University of São Paulo – USP at São Carlos School of Engineering – EESC (Department of Hydraulics and Sanitation) is where the Safewater project is centred. EESC-USP has 2,500 undergraduate students and 1,200 postgraduates. EESC-USP is a national reference in the engineering and has contributed to the development of Brazilian society, with application and dissemination of science, technology and culture.


The Centre for Water, Sanitation, Health and Appropriate Technology Development (WASHTED) was established in 2003 under the University of Malawi, The Polytechnic. Its vision is to be a centre of excellence for research, capacity building and outreach in water, sanitation, hygiene and appropriate technology development, for health. The centre’s mission is to be a leader in generating and dissemination of knowledge to inform policy and practice. WASHTED’s multidisciplinary approach aims to contribute significantly towards the achievement of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through appropriate innovations.