IWA Membership Awards

IWA’s Membership Awards acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of IWA’s members who make significant contributions both to the IWA and to the water sector. The IWA Membership Awards are awarded through a peer-to-peer committee. With recognition being one of the cornerstones of the IWA network model, these Awards are an important pillar of the network. They are presented every two years at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition.

The IWA Membership Awards are divided into three categories: Honorary Membership, Outstanding Service, and Outstanding Contribution to Water Management & Science. In more detail, they comprise:

Honorary Membership – Award recognising a career devoted to progress in the sector and to the Association.

Outstanding Service (Awarded in honour of Dr Samuel H Jenkins) – Award recognising impactful and consistent volunteer work contributing to IWA.

Why in Honour of Dr Samuel H Jenkins?

Dr Sam Jenkins served the International Association on Water Pollution Research (IAWPR – a predecessor of IWA) from its inception. He was a member of the committee which organised the first International Conference on Water Pollution Research in London in 1962, when he also joined the Editorial Board of the Journal ‘Air and Water Pollution’, becoming an Editor in 1964. When ‘Water Research’ was started in 1967, two years after the formation of IAWPR, Sam became its Honorary Executive Editor.

Outstanding Contribution to Water Management & Science (Awarded in honour of Dr Karl Imhoff and Dr Pierre Koch)  – Award designed to recognise outstanding achievements in the area research, science, and water management.

Why in Honour of Dr Karl Imhoff and Dr Pierre Koch?

In 1987, the International Association on Water Pollution Research and Control (IAWPRC – a predecessor of IWA) initiated the Karl Imhoff-Pierre Koch Medal, in honour of two of its foremost honorary members. Dr Karl Imhoff (1876–1965) a pioneer of wastewater treatment used throughout the world. He provided not only significant technical innovations, but also design rules derived from experience in the operation of sewage treatment plants. He wrote a book ‘Handbook of Urban Drainage’ in 1906, which today is released in new editions. In its 100-year history, the book has been translated 40 times and has appeared in a total of 20 languages. Dr Pierre Koch (1895-1978) started his engineering career at the port of Bordeaux, where he was appointed from 1923 to 1927. He was later stationed at the City of Paris, where he became the Director of Water and Sanitation in Paris. In 1950, he was also appointed Professor of Hydrology at the École des Ponts ParisTech, where he taught until his retirement in the 1960s. Known for his work as a hydraulic engineer, his main work was in the field of water supply and wastewater disposal.

Call for nominations is now open until 27 May 2022. Submit your nominations here! The winners will be celebrated at the 2022 World Water Congress.


The Awards specifically recognise individuals for their contribution and achievements while a member of IWA.

How to Nominate

Nominations for the awards must be made by current members of IWA. Self-nominations are accepted.

In order to nominate a peer to win the IWA Membership Award, please submit online the reasons why the individual will qualify. To fill in the online form swiftly see below the different criteria you will be asked to fill in.

Nominations must be made by submitting a nomination application through the online nomination portal. To submit your nomination, please submit the nomination application before 27 May 2022. Please complete all fields in the online application and upload all required documents. Unfortunately, incomplete entries will not be accepted or reviewed.

When preparing to make a nomination, peers should anticipate the need to supply:

  • A short biography of the nominee (maximum 150 words)
  • Justification of why the individual should receive the recognition for her/his contribution to the IWA and water sector. The justification highlights the nominee’s contribution to IWA, stating roles, positions held and dates of these and how they have contributed to the Association (maximum 150 words)

Election Procedure

Nominations will initially be forwarded to the IWA Secretariat via the nomination portal. A review panel will make a preliminary assessment of all submissions. Nominators will be notified as to whether or not nominees are shortlisted. Shortlisted nominees will be notified of their progress to the next stage.

For nominees reaching the next stage, the following will be required:

  • Detailed description addressing the judging criteria (as sections) (maximum of 1200 words)
  • Biography (maximum of 150 words)
  • Attach documents (maximum of 3) that prove the achievement of the criteria (including one letter of reference focusing on addressing judging criteria)
  • Two photos (high resolution)

The Award

Each winner will receive a trophy and certificate honouring their contributions. The award will be presented in Copenhagen at the 2022 IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition. Subsequently, further profiling will be facilitated, including interviews for IWA communications, e.g., the IWA magazine The Source and / or the IWA website.

More information

For all enquiries, please contact awards@iwahq.org


Am I allowed to nominate myself?

Self-nomination for the membership awards is permitted.

If the deadline is over and I forgot to submit a nomination. May I still send my nomination to be considered for an awards?

If the nomination for the award is closed. It means that the judging process has started. If you did not submit your nomination yet, unfortunately it won’t be possible to be considered for the award.

Is more than one person able nominate me for the award?

You are able to be nominated by others, however only one nomination will be considered.

I am based in a different country then my nominator(s). Are they still able to nominate me?

Yes, submission is open across different continents.

Am I able to send my nomination in a different language?

We are not able to receive a nomination from different languages. The only language we are able to get your submission is in English.

Do I need to submit my nomination via the nomination file?

We will only accept nominations that have a nomination file attached.  Any documents that do not follow the guidelines will not be accepted.

Call for nominations for the IWA Membership Awards is open.


IWA Honorary Membership Award

Jiri Wanner

Prof Wanner, from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Czech Republic, has made significant contributions in the field of sewage treatment. He is an IWA Distinguished Fellow and his involvement with IWA spans 35 years. Prof Wanner’s, during which he contributed to the work related to his specialist areas through specialist groups, conferences and supporting the association activity in central Europe, including 25 years as Chair of the Czech Republic Governing Assembly. Read more  

Mark van Loosdrecht

Van Loosdrecht is a Professor at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. He’s an IWA Distinguished Fellow with an outstanding career in wastewater treatment with experience in the development of innovative recovery processes. With over 30 years of commitment to IWA across many activities, he contributed to the development of 15 conferences, is part of the IWA Strategic Council and has chaired various Specialist Groups. Read more. 


IWA Outstanding Service Award

Wolfgang Rauch

Professor Wolfgang Rauch was awared with the 2018 IWA Outstanding Service Award. Acting professor at the University of Insbruck in Austria, he is an IWA Fellow and has taken on many leadership roles within the organisation.

Read more  


IWA Outstanding Service Award

Gérard Payen

gerard-payen-photoGérard Payen has been  nominated as the recipient of the 2016 IWA Outstanding Service Award, for his tremendous contributions to the IWA, including his ongoing involvement as Chair of the IWA Strategic Council and part of the Board of Directors.

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IWA Award for Outstanding Contribution to Water Management & Science

Helena Alegre

helena-alegre-cropHelena Alegre has been nominated as the recipient of the 2016 IWA Award for Outstanding Contribution to Water Management and Science, for her outstanding contributions to the IWA, including her involvement as IWA Fellow, Chair to the IWA Specialist Group on Strategic Asset Management and as member of the IWA Strategic Council among others.

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IWA Honorary Membership

Hallvard Ødegaard

hallvard_odegaard-cropProfessor emeritus Hallvard Ødegaard has been nominated as the recipient of the 2016 IWA Honoray Membership for his many years of dedication and contribution to the IWA. Since 1976 he has served IWA through multiple management assignments  on boards, committees, task groups and specialist groups. 

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IWA Honorary Membership & Presidential Roll of Honour

Helmut Kroiss

helmut-kroiss-cropProfessor Helmut Kroiss has been nominated as the recipient of the 2016 IWA Honorary Membership & the Presidential Roll of Honour, for his longstanding contributions to the IWA and his years of service as IWA President since 2014.

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