The objective of our project is to create menstrual products for Syrian refugees in Lebanon that provide protection, comfort, and a source of empowerment.
Refugees are faced with the challenge of addressing their menstrual needs during displacement and are frequently without access to basic needs. Unfortunately, the needs of displaced persons are frequently neglected in humanitarian responses. Lack of access to products can lead to infection and further perpetuate the stigma and shame attached to having a period.
We are engineering an efficient pad press machine that can be brought into these refugee camps to be used by women to assemble and produce menstrual pads.
Criteria for Acceptance:
- Production consistency at 100%
- Low cost per pad
- 120 pads per hour
- No need for manual touch-ups
- Consistent temperature maintained throughout circuit
- Acceptable size; fits in a medium-size suitcase
This project was initiated in fall 2018 by previous engineering teams. It 2018, a multi-disciplinary team called HERS (Health, Empowerment, and Research for Social Impact), won the President’s Award for Global Learning to test the device in collaboration with the Lebanese Red Cross. Learn about HERS and their research in Lebanon here.
Grace Young Using the Miter Saw to Cut Wood.
“It was extremely rewarding to work in an interdisciplinary team of other engineers and see our progress throughout the year. Through this project, we were able to experience in engineering areas such as project management and product design.”
– Shelby Gammon
“My experience on Team Pad helped me learn so much more about the trial and error process that goes into carrying out a long-term prototyping project. Working on a student team and applying real-life engineering to help women in refugee camps across the world was an extremely rewarding opportunity.”
– Ashwini Prabhu
“It feels really good being able to apply what we’ve been learning for the past few years while knowing we are making a direct positive impact on people’s lives.”
– Grace Young
Grace Young drills holes in order to add hinges to the pad press prototype.
Theoretical Setup of Prototype in a Working Environment.
Changes made to the device between 2019-2020 team and 2020-2021 team.
CAD designs for current prototype showing wiring and dimensions of device.
Current prototype (excluding wiring and heating element) with removable tray.
Pad fabric layers aligned on top frame of device before heating and sealing