Previous speakers

Anusha Shah

Anusha Shah

Director Resilient Cities


Anusha is a Director-Resilient Cities at Arcadis. She is also a Royal Academy of Engineering-Visiting Professor at King’s College London on Climate Adaptation, Sustainability and Inclusive Design. A Fellow with the ICE. she will soon be joining the ICE as its third woman and only BAME succeeding Vice President in 200 years. Anusha is an External Examiner at Leeds Beckett University and represents Arcadis at the London Climate Change Partnership. She is also the immediate Past Chair of the Thames Estuary Partnership Board.

Anusha has specialisation in Water & Environmental Engineering with over 20 years’ experience in designing, managing and leading projects and programmes both in the UK and internationally. She has worked with the government, NGO’s, consultants, contractors, regulator and utility companies, and has led various multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural projects on Water, Environment, Flood Risk Management, Mining and Rail. She sits on various industry NetZero and Sustainability groups. She was the Co-Chair of ICE London and South-East Diversity Task Force and a member of the ICE Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Panel. Anusha was the youngest and first female Chair of the ICE - London Region in 2010, General Council Member and Trustee of the ICE for two consecutive terms, Non-Exec Director-Thomas Telford Board, Member, Member- ICE Executive Board, Member-ICE Research & Development Panel and Member- ICE Qualifications Panel.

Arnoud Molenaar

Arnoud Molenaar

Chief Resilience Officer

City of Rotterdam
The Netherlands

After graduating in Physical Geography, Arnoud started his career with ambitious trainee posts and jobs abroad. As deputy head of the Rotterdam Water Management Department, he was responsible for the Waterplan2Rotterdam. In 2008, he was appointed Manager of the Rotterdam Climate Proof program. Arnoud is first editor of the book “Resilient Cities and Climate Adaptation Strategies” (2014). He was responsible for Rotterdam’s first Resilience Strategy (2016) and joined the Global Centre on Adaptation as lead Cities (2018). In 2019 he hosted the Global Urban Resilience Summit in Rotterdam. Recently he joined the Global Steering Committee at the Resilient Cities Network.

Carolyn Dubois

Director Water Program

The Gordon Foundation

Carolyn is the Director of the Water Program at The Gordon Foundation where she works with partners across sectors in Canada. This work focuses on improving freshwater stewardship through citizen engagement in decision-making and the use of the best available evidence.

Carolyn is a passionate advocate for open data and has led the development of DataStream, an online platform that provides access to information about water quality.

Carolyn holds a BSc in Biology from Mount Allison University and a Master’s in Environmental Management from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Cora Uijterlinde

Cora Uijterlinde

Research Manager

The Netherlands

In 1998 Cora Uijterlinde graduated at Wageningen University (The Netherlands) as a wastewater engineer. For many years she was involved in wastewater treatment at a regional level, first as a consultant and later at the Province of Utrecht and the Water Authority De Stichtse Rijnlanden. In 2002 Cora joined STOWA as a research manager Wastewater. Her areas of focus are: innovative wastewater treatment systems, micropollutants removal, resource recovery and energy transition at WWTP’s.

STOWA (Acronym for Foundation for Applied Water Research) is the centre of expertise of the regional water managers in The Netherlands. Its mission is to develop, collect, distribute and implement applied knowledge, essential for an effective and efficient water management.

Emma Wattie


Atlantic Water Network

Emma Wattie has worked intimately with the numerous stewardship organizations who utilize AWN’s resources and training for the last six years. Emma has over eight years of data collection and management experience and has collaborated closely with organizations in the effort to build Atlantic Canada’s water monitoring capacity. Emma obtained her MSC in Integrated Water Resource Management from McGill University (2012) and her BSC in Biology from Saint Francis Xavier University (2010) where she studied the impacts of different agricultural practices on the benthic macroinvertebrate community within the St. Mary’s River.

Emma Weisbord

Innovation Lead, RHDHV Digital

Royal HaskoningDHV
The Netherlands

Emma Weisbord chairs SWAN’s Rising Smart Water Professionals Programme and is active in IWA’s Digital Water Programme. Since her MSc in Water Science, Policy, and Management, she has worked with Oxford’s Primary Health Care Department, Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, IWA, and water technology startups. As a Digital Water Consultant with Royal HaskoningDHV, her mission is to empower water professionals to overcome barriers to innovation and support the adoption of effective technologies that improve access and affordability of water and sanitation services.

Ian Ross

Ian Ross

Technical Director and Global PFAS Practice Lead

Tetra Tech

JIan Ross, Ph.D., is a Technical Director and Global PFAS Practice Lead at Tetra Tech. He has focused solely on PFAS management for the last 7 years after first evaluating solutions to manage PFOS in 2005.

Ian is a biochemist by training and works for Tetra Tech as a technical expert for the assessment of contaminated land sites and PFAS decontamination. He has experience with PFAS chemistry, biotransformation, fate and transport, the development of conceptual site models, and the use of multiple physical, chemical, and biological treatment technologies. Ian has published over 30 articles, academic publications, and book chapters on PFAS analysis, site investigation, and remediation, including a recent book entitled “Emerging Contaminants Handbook”. He was the first to develop and use the total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay commercially and has acted as an expert witness for governments looking to manage PFAS.

Jason Dadakis

Jason Dadakis

Executive Director

Orange County, Water District

Jason Dadakis is the Executive Director of Water Quality and Technical Resources for Orange County, Water District (OCWD) in Fountain Valley, California. There he oversees water quality monitoring, laboratory analysis, regulatory compliance, and applied research in support of OCWD’s groundwater management activities and recycled water projects, including the Groundwater Replenishment System.

Currently, he serves as a lead facilitator for a PFAS Workgroup comprised of local retail water agencies and regulators. Jason is a registered Professional Geologist (P.G.) and Certified Hydrogeologist (C.HG) in the State of California. He holds a B.A. in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College and an M.S. in Hydrology from the University of Arizona.

Jesper Kjelds

Chief Digital Officer

Aarhus Vand

Jesper heads implementation of the digital transformation strategy at Aarhus Vand. The digital transformation at Aarhus Vand involves and includes everybody in the company and is realized through dedicated and committed partnerships. Aarhus Vand is actively using new (Water 4.0) IT technologies in combination with deep domain knowledge, experience and data to drive the transformation. Jesper has 29 years of international experience from the global water sector working on water projects as technical expert and manager. Jesper is a distinctive leader in global water environments. His engineering and management experience with water management issues involving multiple stakeholders includes project leadership and engineering development of complex water models to assess and communicate integrated water management. Despite his senior positions, he has until recently remained an active practitioner and has been involved with implementation of water management projects around the world.

John Gaffney

Product Owner/BDM Water Quality Analytics


John Gaffney is a trained hydro-chemist with a background of research, development, and commercialisation of sensor, monitoring technologies, and analytics solutions. This has included a foundation working within research institutes followed by 10+ years of working in product management and business development roles predominantly within the supply chain to the water sector. New product introductions have included numerous in to the global smart water market. Currently he has responsibility for developing digital solutions that combine existing and novel datasets, and subsequent insight generation, to assist water companies with better operating their potable water distribution and sewage collection networks.

Julia Braune

General Manager

German Water Partnership

GWP's managing director Julia Braune boasts over 15 years of professional experience in the field of environmental services, including ten years in water management and is therefore highly familiar with challenges of the water sector and market requirements. She also has extensive experience in project management, acquisition and communication as well as human resources management. Before joining GWP in 2017 she has held leading roles in water supply and wastewater disposal companies developing and managing various projects with municipal as well as industrial cooperation partners.

Karyn Georges

Karyn Georges

Head of Consulting

Isle Utilities

Karyn is the Head of Consulting at Isle Utilities, managing a team of scientists and engineers. She has been working in the water sector for over 20 years, focusing on the identification and implementation of innovative approaches to solving key challenges. Such challenges include removal of emerging contaminants, achieving net zero carbon and embracing the circular economy.

Karyn is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Water and Environmental Management and is a member of their Wastewater and Biosolids panel.

Katrina Donaghy

Co-founder and CEO

Civic Ledger

As CEO and Co-Founder of Civic Ledger, Katrina’s vision for a future government will be an operating system for industry and start-ups to innovate and believes that shifting to the digitisation of government services and programs will fundamentally change the way we value, share, consume and hold public assets such as civic entitlements. Katrina’s experience as a career bureaucrat, not-for-profit executive and a blockchain industry mentor adds a wealth of knowledge and experience to lead Civic Ledger application of emerging technology will help solve traditional problems. Her ability to translate complex technology into language understood by Government and Business Leaders, has driven Civic Ledger’s piloting of blockchain use cases within government. In 2018 and 2019, Katrina was recognised as a Female Fintech Leader Finalist and Female Blockchain Leader Finalist by her Industry peers and in 2018, Civic Ledger was named as Australia’s Emerging Fintech Company of the Year. In 2019, Katrina was appointed as an Australian Blockchain Fellow in recognition for her contribution to the responsible adoption of blockchain technology both in Australia and globally.

Katrina Flavel

Technical Specialist Clean Water Networks Innovation Team

Yorkshire Water

Katrina represents Yorkshire Water’s Innovation team, delivering cutting-edge projects in the clean water network. She works across several disciplines, and currently leads on projects that address challenges associated with both leakage and water quality. Katrina has a background in water quality in clean water production and networks, and has previously worked in an operational environment. She therefore understands well the real-world challenges of ensuring customers receive the highest quality drinking water. Prior to joining Yorkshire Water, Katrina completed a PhD in materials chemistry and spent several years as a researcher at the University of York. Her combination of academic and industry experience means she is well-placed to support innovation within the water sector.

Kelly Trott

Kelly Trott

Vice President

Imagine H2O

Kelly leads Imagine H2O's Urban Water Challenge as well as the organization's Deployment for Impact programming. Prior to joining IH2O, Kelly worked at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation where she focused on strategy and business development. Kelly began her career in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch before moving to the American Museum of Natural History as the Assistant Director of Corporate Relations. Kelly graduated from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in 2017 and holds a BS from Vanderbilt University. While at Tuck, she interned with The Nature Conservancy, NatureVest and Radicle Impact.

Lisa Brand

Lisa Brand

Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder

LG Sonic
The Netherlands

This innovative Dutch company develops technologies to monitor and control algal blooms on a large scale. In the last years, they have grown to a global company with projects in 96 countries worldwide. They work with drinking water companies, governments, and (nuclear) power plants, to remediate large lakes and reservoirs without the use of chemicals.

Lisa Brand is a microbiologist with years of experience in the field of water quality. For the last 12 years, she has studied algal blooms in lakes worldwide and focused on finding solutions to remediate their toxic effects in our environment. Lisa is an experienced project manager, she has coordinated and collaborated on various national and European research projects that involve freshwater quality analysis and improvement measures.

Lisa played a key role in the development of MPC-Buoy and MPC-NanoBubble, technologies that received BlueTech Research Award 2019 “Best Technology Innovation”, Aquatech LATAM Award 2019, and Aquatech Innovation Award 2019., among the others.

Maarten van Schijndel

Water quality and soil quality expert

Waterschap De Dommel
The Netherlands

Maarten van Schijndel, BSc, is an expert in water quality and soil quality at Waterschap De Dommel. His focus is on rivers, urban waters and recreational waters. For soil quality his expertise is in the agricultural soils. With knowledge of both water and soil systems, he can approach problems in an integral way.

Maarten started at Waterschap De Dommel in 2012. During his time at this government agency he learned a lot about river basin management, sewage water treatment and aquatic ecology. Most of the time he make use of a practical approach when it comes to problem solving. But with his network of scientists, consultants, universities and his background of BSc, a more theoretical and scientific approach is possible.

At the moment, most of his projects are based on innovative technologies with a natural character. He likes building with nature and has a special interest in micro-organisms. His vision is to restore water and soil conditions from the bottom up. So first restore the microbiological conditions and (with a bit of help) the rest will follow in a natural way.

Megan Glover

Co-Founder & CEO


Megan Glover is the CoFounder and CEO of 120Water. A data and software veteran, prior to founding 120Water she spent nearly 15 years as an executive building and scaling various software as a service products in the midwest. With a passion and knowledge base for utilizing modern software technology to solve problems, 120Water provides modern software and tools necessary to solve our most complex drinking water challenges.

Meriem Riadi

Chief Digital Office

SUEZ Group

Meriem is in the center of the digital transformation as SUEZ Chief Digital Officer. She shares her viewpoints about the city of tomorrow, a sustainable city not only relying on technology but even more on user experience. In her daily mission, she has to organize a change in order to make services faster and more accessible for every citizen. She is helping SUEZ to provide new services, answering new digital systems and helping us to develop the resource revolution.

Michael Strahand

Consultant at IDT

SWAN Forum Ambassador

Improving water for everyone by making knowledge and technology accessible. A bilingual entrepreneurial scientist, Michael is a respected member of the global smart water community, a well-regarded and respected water industry expert who fuses academic excellence with business acumen. Michael has founded and led several innovative companies from start-up to a position of market leadership. Michael takes a holistic, independent view and identifies how to collaboratively bring together people, technology, data and analytics to deliver results and add value to water utilities and customers. Michael is passionate about water and especially the way that smart water systems can help us on our journey towards a world where everyone has equal access to water and sanitation. A father of three young children, Michael see water issues as a key part of the world they will grow up in. Outside of the world of water, football, “real football”, and loud rock music are his other passions.

Nicole M. Poncelet-Johnson

Director of Water Quality & Treatment Team

Denver Water

Nicole is 25+ year veteran of the water and wastewater industry, with a passion for public service, science, improving public health and environmental outcomes and developing high performing teams. She is a graduate of Purdue University's Lyles School of Civil Engineering. To gain practical knowledge of the industry, she operated water and wastewater treatment plants and systems, manages construction of treatment plants and ultimately landed at Denver Water leading a team of 130+ passionate water professionals managing four treatment plants and water quality operations which support the health and livelihood of 1.5 million people in Denver, Colorado. Recently Nicole was a principal investigator and lead negotiator of Denver Water's Lead Reduction Program Plan (LRPP). The LRPP demonstrated significant public health benefits while avoiding downstream environmental impacts associated with optimal corrosion control. The LRPP served as the basis of EPA's decision to approve a variance to the SDWA in December 2019. 

Orianna Bretschger

Founder & CEO


Orianna Bretschger is the CEO and Founder of Aquacycl, a water technology company that provides distributed wastewater treatment for industrial companies. Aquacycl's BioElectrochemical Treatment Technology is the first commercially viable microbial fuel cell that simultaneously removes pollutants from water and produces direct electricity. Her research has resulted in 32 journal publications, 3 book chapters, and 8 patent filings.

Rik Thijssen

Business Development Manager

The Netherlands

Rik Thijssen has over 25 years of experience in innovation and Business Development in several sectors including 10 years in the water utility sector. He is leading the Business Development department at Vitens and member of the management team. Innovation, sustainability, circular economy, customer technology and smart grids are the main topics. He is member of the Innovation & Technology Commission of the National Employers’ Organization, Council Member of SWAN Forum and Member of the IWA Steering Committee on the Digital Water Programme.

Søren Nøhr Bak

Expertise Director


Experienced water expert and business leader with +30 years’ experience dealing with water in the international Food & Beverage industry in general and water recycling in particular. He has gained this insight through working with business development, consultancy services for the F&B industry, R&D on patented hardware components and solutions, and expansion of new financial and digital offerings.

Yossi Yaacoby

VP of Engineering


Yossi has 19 years experience in the water industry. He started his career as a marketing director and project manager at EMS Mekorot Projects, a subsidiary of Mekorot, the national water company, and has acquired extensive experience in water and wastewater treatment, desalination, pumping equipment, pipe works, water supply systems through engineering and sales. In January 2010, Yossi joined Mekorot as Director of its WaTech® - Division. WaTech® - the Entrepreneurship & Partnership Center for Water Technologies is  a unique program that supports new innovative water technology solutions which are relevant to the day-to-day functioning of Mekorot. In addition, Yossi has headed innovative ventures in the water industry with start-up companies in Israel and abroad. He is in charge of the applied research in the company, which includes activities with the academia and research institutes in Israel and abroad including the EU. Furthermore, he is responsible for promoting the field of intellectual property. Yossi holds a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.