The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IWSH) Foundation awarded MSOE students Sarah Ceurvorst and Katie Ashely with the 2021 IWSH Award for their work developing the design of handwashing stations for the Navajo Nation. The students will be celebrated at the annual International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Conference on Sept. 27.

Ceurvorst and Ashley, architectural engineering students, worked with IWSH and DigDeep to head the redesign of handwashing stations under the leadership of Doug Nelson, associate professor in the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department.

The freestanding handwashing units hold a 200-gallon tank of water which will serve a six-person household in the Navajo Nation for one month. The handwashing stations provide the Navajo people with an immediate source of sanitation to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The first handwashing stations were deployed to the Navajo Nation at the end of August.

Learn more about the design process and impact of the handwashing stations.


An individual washes her hands at the Baca Prewitt Chapter House in New Mexico.