June 3, 2021 Industry

IWA Membership Awards winners announced at Digital Congress

The winners of the IWA Membership Awards have been announced by IWA President Tom Mollenkopf, during a plenary session on Tuesday 1 June to mark the beginning of the second week of the Digital World Water Congress.

This year there are two recipients of the Honorary Life Membership Award. This award recognises outstanding and sustained contributions of members in relation to the water sector and the Association.

The two exceptional individuals who won this recognition are Prof Jiri Wanner, from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Czech Republic, and Prof Mark van Loosdrecht from Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands.

Prof Wanner has made significant contributions in the field of sewage treatment. Throughout his career, he has focused on biological wastewater treatment in multiple areas, from the microbiology of activated sludge to the design and operation of large wastewater treatment plants. 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.

Upon receiving the award, Prof Wanner commented: “During my professional career, I always benefited from my cooperation with the international water community thanks to the activities organised by IWA. Thanks to my involvement, I was able to organise conferences in my country and in Central Europe. This award is a motivation for my future work with the international community and for educating a new generation of water specialists at my university.”

Prof van Loosdrecht is also an IWA Distinguished Fellow with an outstanding career in wastewater treatment with experience in the development of innovative recovery processes. In addition, he’s won numerous prizes, including the Stockholm Water Prize, the Singapore “Lee Kuan Yew” Water Prize and the IWA Global Water Award. 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.

Following the announcement, Prof van Loosdrecht added: “The election of me and Jiri as winners of the Honorary Membership Awards also illustrates the importance that has been given to the biological aspect of water treatment in the past 30 years as we have been working on wastewater treatment and microbiology. I am sure that in the future we’ll be able to further develop solutions not only for wastewater treatment but also recovery of all kinds of interesting compounds.”

IWA’s awards, held every two years, acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of IWA members who make significant contributions to the Association and the water sector.

The Digital Congress is well underway with an audience of over 2,200 water professionals tuning in from every corner of the globe to follow the virtual event. The Congress is due to end on Friday 4 June. Don’t miss the Water Industry TV Awards at 12:00 GMT and the Closing Ceremony at 15:00 GMT on Friday, login onto the platform and add these sessions to your agenda now!