Sonia Grego


Associate Research Professor in theDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering

I am the founding director of the Duke Smart Toilet Lab, dedicated to the opportunities that data-rich human excreta offer to improve individual and public health. The objective  is to empower individuals and groups in communal living with health information for early warning of disease, health and wellness and management of chronic diseases through wastewater analysis, without any changes of daily habits. I am passionate about the opportunities that advanced sanitation technologies offer to improve global health and to provide a paradigm shift in health screening both for individuals and for communities.

As a major project of my research portfolio over the past 5 years, I have led the field testing of 10+ onsite sanitation technology prototypes from multiple organizations in international settings. I have managed yearlong deployments of sophisticated chemo-mechanical systems with electronic monitoring connected to wastewater pipes of buildings, ensuring no disruption of service to users while evaluating the treatment process performance.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Research Professor in theDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 701 W.Main Street, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5353
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, 2001
  • Ph.D. University of Copenhagen (Denmark), 1999

Courses Taught

  • EGR 391: Projects in Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Welling, CM; Varigala, S; Krishnaswamy, S; Raj, A; Lynch, B; Piascik, JR; Stoner, BR; Hawkins, BT; Hegarty-Craver, M; Luettgen, MJ; Grego, S, Resolving the relative contributions of cistern and pour flushing to toilet water usage: Measurements from urban test sites in India., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 730 (2020) [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138957] [abs].
  • Zhou, J; Welling, CM; Vasquez, MM; Grego, S; Chakrabarty, K, Sensor-Array Optimization Based on Time-Series Data Analytics for Sanitation-Related Malodor Detection., Ieee Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, vol 14 no. 4 (2020), pp. 705-714 [10.1109/tbcas.2020.3002180] [abs].
  • Varigala, S; Krishnaswamy, S; Lohia, CP; Hegarty-Craver, M; Grego, S; Luettgen, M; Cid, CA, Optimal design of an electrochemical reactor for blackwater treatment., Water Environment Research : a Research Publication of the Water Environment Federation (2020) [10.1002/wer.1374] [abs].
  • Kawadiya, S; Welling, C; Grego, S; Deshusses, MA, Fecal Malodor Detection Using Low-Cost Electrochemical Sensors., Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), vol 20 no. 10 (2020) [10.3390/s20102888] [abs].
  • Varigala, SK; Hegarty-Craver, M; Krishnaswamy, S; Madhavan, P; Basil, M; Rosario, P; Raj, A; Barani, V; Cid, CA; Grego, S; Luettgen, M, Field testing of an onsite sanitation system on apartment building blackwater using biological treatment and electrochemical disinfection, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, vol 6 no. 5 (2020), pp. 1400-1411 [10.1039/c9ew01106d] [abs].