The 2019-20 EPSRC WISE CDT Industry Day took place on Wednesday 12th February at the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel – we were very lucky to be able to run the event before the impact of the coronavirus became serious. For the first time the Industry Day was organised as a dual event with the Wet Networks (Bristol) series, jointly convened by Arup and WRc. This combined event attracted a wide-ranging industry attendance that covered the breadth of the CDT’s research interests. There were over 100 attendees on the day, with about 40 water industry stakeholder organisations being represented. Amongst these were water utilities (Bristol Water, Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water, Wessex Water), consultants (Arup, FNC, PA Consulting, RSKW, SWECO, WRc), contractors (Jacobs, Mott Macdonald, MWH Treatment, Stantec, Wood, WSP), NGOs (Oxfam, RedR), supply chain companies (Craley, DeepRoot, Flow3D, Innovyze, Tre-Altamira), stakeholder organisations (Alliance for Water Stewardship, Water Industry Forum, UK Water Partnership), and Government Agencies (Environment Agency, NERC).
The event’s theme was ‘water informatics’ and ‘circular economy approaches to water systems’. We started with WISE CDT Director Professor David Butler and Co-Director Dr Tom Arnot giving introductory presentations and outlining the various ways in which water industry stakeholders might collaborate with the WISE CDT. Dr Dan Green, Head of Sustainability and Innovation at Wessex Water and a CDT Advisory Board member, then gave a keynote address. Dan’s final message to ‘connect, integrate, join the dots’ provided the perfect lead-in to the research poster session.
Around 40 WISE CDT research posters – covering the themes of ‘enhancing infrastructure resilience’, ‘supply and quality of water resources’, ‘coastal and marine processes’ and ‘flood risk and prevention’ – were on display, generating considerable dialogue and exchange of ideas. The “Dragon’s Den” style presentations in the evening session were from SMEs and supply chain companies in the water sector, and we were also delighted to be able to showcase new Bristol based charity The Billy Chip. This was followed by a reception with drinks and refreshments, which provided further networking opportunities. Several WISE CDT students reported making significant new contacts and connections, as did some of our industry guests.
We would like to thank Arup, WRc and the Wet Networks event for co-sponsorship, and Dr Tom Arnot, Anni Laihanen and Zay Abdallah for their immense efforts in making this such a successful event.