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Global Chair Prof. Kees van Leeuwen (KWR Watercycle Institute & Utrecht University)

Hosted by the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC), Prof. van Leeuwen is a leading biologist in the field of urban water management and toxicology.

Global Chair
Bath Global Chair Prof. Kees van Leeuwen

Professor Kees van Leeuwen is an internationally respected biologist, with a particular interest in water research and policy. Based at the University of Utrecht, he is Professor of Water Management and Urban Development at the Copernicus Institute, as well as Principle Scientist at the KWR Watercycle Research Institute in the Netherlands. He is also former Director of the Institute of Health and Consumer Protection at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Italy.

Well-connected through his research and consulting work on water security, risk assessment, and sustainable development, he was worked with the EU, World Bank, UNESCO, and OECD. He was the leading author behind the European REACH legislation, and has developed the City Blueprint methodology for sustainable urban water management, working with municipalities to conduct integrated assessments and inform governance. Supported by the European Commission and Watershare, a global water research and practice network, his City Blueprint database has grown to cover over 70 cities worldwide.

Hosted by Prof. Jan Hofman at the Water Innovation & Research Centre (WIRC@Bath), his Global Chair appointment has provided new pathways for Bath's righly-regarded water research partnerships, extending collaborations both locally and in urban sub-Saharan Africa, as well as strengthening existing links with the University of Utrecht, in particular with the Water Governance group at the Copernicus Institute.

In addition to his Global Chair, Professor van Leeuwen has held a David Parkin Professorship at Bath.

Activities at Bath

Since his appointment as Global Chair in 2017/2018, Professor Kees can Leeuwen has visited Bath a number of times and has:

  • participated in the WISE CDT Summer School in June 2018, providing mentorship to PhD students and young local water professionals, and harnessing synergies between the CTD’s research on data mining and Prof. van Leeuwen’s City Blueprint quantitative methodology.

  • developed a City Blueprint for integrated water cycle management in the city of Bath, involving Council, Wessex Water and other local stakeholders in 2018.

  • delivered a public lecture on A global perspective on the local challenges of water, waste and climate change (5 February 2019).

  • provided new pathways for water research in sub-Saharan Africa around UN SDG 6, including an international workshop on water security with the UNESCO Division of Water Science and the International Water Association, organised by Prof. Hofman in Uganda in February 2020.

    • Following City Blueprint assessments of five African cities – Harare, Yaoundé, Abuja, Bangui and Libreville – the workshop took place during the 20th International Congress and Exhibition of the African Water Association and was hosted by the National Water & Sewerage Corporation of Uganda. It developed a roadmap for enabling the uptake of the City Blueprint assessments by practitioners and decision makers in each city, and laid the groundwork for a city-to-city learning alliance to include all capital cities in Africa, with current young water professionals acting as trainers for their colleagues in other cities.

Explore Further

Find more information about Kees van Leeuwen's work and previous activity at the University.