Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers 

Plenary Speaker 1
Belén Gualda González, Regional Government of Andalucía , Spain
Plenary Speaker 2
Carmen Mena Abela, European Commission Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), Belgium
Plenary Speaker 3 Piers Clark, Isle Utilities, UK
Plenary Speaker 4 Eion Casey,  University College Dublin, Ireland
Plenary Speaker 5 Amy Pruden, Virginia Tech, USA
Plenary Speaker 6 Per Nielsen, Aalborg University, Denmark
Plenary Speaker 7 Eva Martinez, FCC Aqualia, Spain


Belén Gualda González. "Challenges and opportunities for innovation in water management and infrastructure in Andalucia" 

Plenary session. Tuesday 14th, June 2016 (09:30 - 10:15)
Carmen Mena Belen Gualda, was nominated Secretary General of the Environment and Climate Change of the Regional Government of Andalucía in July 2015. She is a civil engineer, born in Granada in 1974.  Since April 2011 she has been Director General of Infrastructure and Operation of the Water Board, after occupying the Directorate General of Infrastructure and Exploitation of the now extinct Andalusian Water Agency (2011). The new secretary general has extensive experience in the Regional Government, where she has been Director of the Division of Environmental Infrastructure and Water Management of the Environmental Management Company, SA (Egmasa), between November 2009 and January 2011, and Director General of Transport of the Ministry of Public Works (2008-2009).


Carmen Mena Abela. "Water Innovation Actions in the context of the Circular Economy" 

Plenary session. Tuesday 14th, June 2016 (10:15 - 11:00)
Carmen Mena Carmen Mena Abela is the Head of the "H2020 Eco-Innovation" sector in the European Commission Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) since 2014, responsible for the implementation of the Systemic Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy Calls under the European Research and Innovation Program, H2020.
She has worked for sixteen years in European Research; in the fields of transport, tourism, and electronic infrastructures, under the Information, Science & Technology programs and in the fields of science & society and environment under the Capacities program.  Before joining the European Commission in 1998, she worked in IT for five years for Cray Systems UK, in the customs & taxation field.  She is a Computer Scientist and has a Master of Science in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Piers Clark. "When dancing with sharks... impacts of innovation implies intimacy with your investors"

Plenary session. Tuesday 14th, June 2016. (11:30 - 12:15)
Eoin Casey.jpg Piers is Isle Utilities’ Chairman. Isle is a technical, specialist water consultancy with offices in the UK, the Netherlands, the USA, Australia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Piers was previously the Managing Director for the private equity fund Global Water Development Partners (GWDP), a Blackstone portfolio company.
From 2010-14 he was the Commercial Director at Thames Water, the largest of the UK water companies (serving 15 million people). Piers was responsible for all of Thames Water’s non-regulated business activities. Piers also served as Interim Asset Management Director for Thames Water. Prior to joining Thames Water, Piers was Managing Director of Mouchel’s Regulated Industries leading a team of 3,000 staff providing engineering consultancy and operational maintenance services in the water, energy, environment and rail sectors. He is a Board director for the IFC-backed Haiti-based water kiosk business Dlo Haiti, and is an Advisor to the Canadian water private equity fund XPV. He has a PhD in Civil Engineering.

Eoin Casey. "The Membrane-aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR): Full-scale Applications"

Plenary session. Tuesday 14th, June 2016 (12:15 - 13:00)
Eoin Casey.jpg Eoin Casey is currently Associate Professor in the School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. He is also co-founder of OxyMem Ltd, a UCD spin-out company. His research is focussed on both biofilms and on membrane filtration. This research underpins an applied programme aimed at developing new and improved processes for water and wastewater treatment. One of his achievements was the development of the reaction engineering framework and scale-up strategy for the membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR), a wastewater treatment technology that uses 75% less energy than existing aerobic biological treatment technology. Significant awards include a European Research Council starting grant (2011), Fellowship of the IChemE (2014), overall Winner (Excellence in IP) at the Intellectual Property awards (2014).

Amy Pruden."Combatting Antibiotic Resistance in the Water Sector"

Plenary session. Tuesday 14th, June 2016 (13:00 - 13:45)
Eoin Casey.jpg Amy Pruden is a Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA USA. Her primary expertise is on tracking pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes through environmental systems and developing engineering control strategies for protecting public health. Her broad research mission is to advance the sustainability and health of our water systems through fundamental understanding of microbial ecology.  Dr. Pruden received the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering in 2007 and the Paul L. Busch Award in 2014. Her 2014 article “Balancing Water Sustainability and Public Health Goals in the Face of Growing Concerns about Antibiotic Resistance,” was recognised as the Editor’s Choice Best Feature Article in Environmental Science and Technology.  Dr. Pruden's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Water Research Foundation, Water Environment Research Foundation, Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Per Halkjær Nielsen. "Discovery of the "Comammox" Bacteria and other Nitrifiers for Wastewater Treatment"

Plenary session. Tuesday 14th, June 2016 (14:45 - 15:30)
Eoin Casey.jpg Per Halkjær Nielsen is full professor at the Department of Chemistry and Bioscience at Aalborg University, Denmark where he is heading the multidisciplinary Center for Microbial Communities. His research group has been active in environmental biotechnology for over 25 years, focusing on microbial ecology of biological wastewater treatment, bioenergy production, bioremediation, biofilms, infection of implants and development of systems microbiology approaches based on new sequencing technologies. He chaired the IWA specialist group “Microbial Ecology and Water Engineering” for 8 years (2005-2013) and is Chair of the IWA BioCluster. He is a fellow of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV) and the International Water Association (IWA) and has received several prestigious awards. He has published more than 230 peer reviewed publications. His main research interest is microbial ecology in water engineering, particularly related to wastewater treatment where he has developed and applied several novel methods to study uncultured microorganisms, e.g. by use of DNA technologies. He participated recently in the discovery of the novel nitrifying Comammox bacteria published in Nature. 

Eva Martínez Díaz. "Innovative Smart Solutions for Sustainable Water Services"

Plenary session. Tuesday 14th, June 2016 (15:30 - 16:15)
Eoin Casey.jpg Eva Martinez Diaz is Responsible for the Smart Services Area of the Innovation and Technology Department at Aqualia, where she coordinates R&D projects and is in charge of strategy and partnerships in Europe within the ICT and smart technologies in the water field. Before joining Aqualia she worked as project Manager at Technologie-Transfer-Zentrum in Germany developing and managing a number of environmental and water projects and later as Business Unit Manager at a research consultancy in Spain, leading and conducting strategy development with public and private entities in the field of water management, environment, ICT and sustainability.
She graduated from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) where she studied Agriculture Engineering, and holds a BSc (Hons) in Environment Sciences at Coventry University (UK) and MSc in Integrated Environmental Management at Nottingham Trent University (UK).