Bath to host international water conference

To celebrate the launch of its new Water Innovation & Research Centre (WIRC @ Bath), the University of Bath is hosting its first ever Water Science and Engineering Conference this July.

The conference, which will bring industry professionals together with leading academics to discuss a range of water-related topics, will be held at the University on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 July.

Hosting the conference reflects the University’s own strengths in water research. From working with Wessex Water on turning sewage into fuel, to investigating the cause of blockages in irrigation piping networks in South Africa with strategic partner Stellenbosch University, water research from Bath is having important impacts locally and internationally.

Bath is also helping to secure the future supply of graduates undertaking water-focussed research through its Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Informatics: Science & Engineering (WISE CDT), where students carry out PhD-level research in partnership with a number of the water industry’s leading companies.

This two-day event which includes an evening dinner reception held in the Pump Room Restaurant at the historic Roman Baths, will be of interest to a number of different audiences including international water industries, policy makers, academics, NGOs, water-focussed engineers, students and strategic partners of WIRC @ Bath.

The conference will address a range of themes through keynote speakers and technical sessions including water resources; water treatment; water management; water and public health; and water environment infrastructure resilience.

A number of internationally renowned speakers have been confirmed, including:

  • Professor Paul Sherlock OBE, Trustee, RedR UK (UK)
  • Professor Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector, Stellenbosch University (South Africa)
  • Dr Colin Skellett, Chief Executive, Wessex Water (UK)
  • Professor Jan Hofman, WIRC @ Bath Director, University of Bath (UK)
  • Tony Rachwal, Director, The UK Water Partnership (UK)
  • Professor Alfred Wüest, Eawag and EPFL (Switzerland)

Looking ahead to the conference, Director of WIRC @ Bath and conference organiser, Professor Jan Hofman said: “The global challenges facing water resource management are wide and complex. Over 50 per cent of the world’s population is situated in large urban ‘megacities’ meaning pollution is inevitable, whilst in other parts of the world there is widespread water scarcity.

“This conference will address these issues and more as we hope to identify innovative and integrated ways at solving many of the world’s water-related issues.”

Chief Executive of Wessex Water, Dr Colin Skellett commented: “We are delighted to be part of the launch of the Water Innovation & Research Centre at Bath. We have had a productive research partnership with the University over the last three years, focusing on ways of applying science and technology to some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities that we face.

“This event will be a meeting of minds, a chance to share practical experience and hopefully a springboard to new collaborations.”

Vice-Rector of Stellenbosch University, Professor Eugene Cloete added: “I would like to congratulate Professor Hofman on organising this conference. As a strategic partner of the University of Bath, I am delighted to be attending the launch of WIRC @ Bath and look forward to continuing our collaborative water research with Bath in the future.”

A full itinerary for the conference can be viewed online and for more information and to register, please visit

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