Join the Transformation Journey
About the IWA Digital Water Summit
The Digital Water Summit Programme Committee gathers world renowned experts in charge of developing a leading edge programme with plenary sessions, interactive discussions, side events, exhibition, technical visits, and social events. The engagement and commitment of incumbents, start-ups and entrants from other sectors is part of the success of digital water technology adoption. Water professionals often lack information technology skill sets and the perspective to appreciate what is possible, while technology entrepreneurs may not understand the nuances of complex water systems affected by multiple factors. This Summit is part of a wider initiative to provide a platform that helps utilities recognize emerging digital technologies and solutions, how they can be integrated across the utility value chain, help them learn from it, and help them adapt and embrace change to create value.
Co-organized by the International Water Association, Consorcio de Aguas Bilbao Bizkaia water utility and AEAS, the IWA Governing Member in Spain, the first IWA Digital Water Summit will be held in Bilbao, Spain, 15 – 18 November 2021.
Progamme Advisory Committee
The Programme Advisory Committee is formed by leading experts in water and development from around the world.
Chief Executive Officer
KWR Water Research Institute
Professor Dragan Savić FREng joined KWR Water Cycle Research Institute in the Netherlands as its new CEO on July 1st 2018. Before joining KWR he was Director and co-founder of the Centre for Water Systems in Exeter, an internationally recognised group for excellence in water and environmental science research. Dragan Savić was the first Professor of Hydroinformatics in the UK having held this post at the University of Exeter since 2001. His research interests cover the interdisciplinary field of Hydroinformatics, which transcends traditional boundaries of water/environmental sciences, informatics/computer science (including Artificial Intelligence, data mining and optimisation techniques) and environmental engineering. His recent work has concentrated on the theoretical development and application of Artificial Intelligence methods that have been applied to many fields of environmental science and engineering, including Smart Water Systems. He is elected Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) and a member of the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC).
Executive Vice President, Operations and Engineering
Biju George serves the Authority as Executive Vice President, Operations and Engineering. In this capacity, he is responsible for the performance management of all operations and engineering work. He participates in the implementation of the Authority’s strategic plan and works with the Executive Vice President, Finance and Procurement in overseeing the development of operating budgets and operating policies. Additionally, Mr. George reviews divisions’ operational and financial performance and meets with department heads to discuss the feasibility of strategic initiatives.
He joined the Authority from Greater Cincinnati Water Works, Metropolitan Sewer District and Stormwater Utility, where he was the Deputy Director of Water and Sewers. In that position, he provided strategy for all wastewater, stormwater and drinking water operations. Mr. George also served as the drinking water utility’s interim executive director from 2011 to 2013. Mr. George was principally involved in the integration of three utility enterprises (wastewater, stormwater and drinking water) into a unified enterprise.
Mr. George has more than 27 years of diversified technical and management experience. He is recognized as a leader in treatment technology and science, and is both published writer and a frequent speaker, and the past Assistant Superintendent of the 240 MGD Mill Creek Plant. More recently, Mr. George was principally involved in building a public sector contracting service that now generates $10 million in revenue, and has helped Greater Cincinnati Waterworks maintain an AAA rating, despite difficult economic times.
Mr. George is the 2014 recipient of the Innovator of the Year Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. George has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the PDA College of Engineering at Gulbarga University and he is a licensed professional engineer in Ohio.
Vice President, Urban Water
Cecilia has worked in the water industry for more than 25 years in engineering, innovation, technology, sales, business development and management in different positions as project manager and senior expert, Business Development Director and Managing Director. Present, Cecilia has a role as Vice President for the Urban water sector in DHI GROUP. She has worked for both the private sector (engineering consultant, technology companies) as well as in public sector for a water utility. Extensive experience from projects for cities with Integrated Urban Water Management related to sewer systems, storm water management, rivers, flooding, climate impact/adaptation and pollution control. Experience from modelling of hydrology, hydraulics, and water quality including development of software applications (technical). Experience from water quality studies and EIAs related to urban water environment and water resources, including legislation and compliance. Long track record of leading people, running profitable business and growing technical companies including strategic planning and execution in business development, innovation and sales.
Director, Strategy & Marketing – Europe
Randolf Webb is the Director of Strategy & Marketing for Xylem’s Europe business where he focuses on strategy, marketing, business development, and government relations. In his time at Xylem, he has worked on a range of initiatives related to smart water strategy, M&A, and thought leadership including the acquisitions of Sensus, Visenti, and Pure Tech., and the recent whitepaper The Smarter Water Manager. He also sits on the International Water Association Strategic Council to the Board of Directors, Management Committee for the Innovators Platform, and Management Committee for the Young Water Professionals Program. His experience in the water sector spans strategy consulting, engineering consulting, public utility, and academia. Randolf is an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow and an International Water Association Fellow.
University of Michigan
Branko Kerkez an assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Michigan. His research interests include water, data, and sensors. His research group is conducting research on smart water systems. Dr. Kerkez is the co-founder of Open-Storm.org, an open source consortium dedicated to freely sharing technologies and lessons for the sensing and control of water systems. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, all from UC Berkeley. He was recognized in 2018 by National Academy of Engineering as a Gilbreth Lecturer, presenting on the topic of smart stormwater systems.
Chair and Professor of Urban Water Infrastructure, Department of Water Management
Delft University of Technology
Professor Zoran Kapelan is a Chair and Professor of Urban Water Infrastructure at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Prior to joining TU Delft he was an Academic Lead of the Water and Environment Group at the University of Exeter in the UK. He is an IWA Fellow and a Fellow of CIWEM with 30 years of research and consulting experience in water engineering. His research interests cover a wide range of challenges related to water and wastewater infrastructure including development of smart water technologies. Prof Kapelan pioneered the award winning burst/leak detection technology that is now used companywide in one of the largest UK water utilities resulting in multi-million pounds annual savings via reduced operational costs. The other smart technology for automated detection of faults in sewers from CCTV is currently being transferred into another large UK water company.
He has (co)authored over 350 technical publications with over 120 peer-reviewed journal papers and an H-index of 40. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the Water Resources Research (AGU) and the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management (ASCE).
Technical Lead for the Water Industry
Z-Tech Control Systems
Oliver Grievson is the Technical Lead for the Water Industry at Z-Tech Control systems as well as being the Executive Director of Water Industry Process Automation & Control (WIPAC) and the Vice-Chairman of the Sensors for Water Interest Group (SWIG). He has spent over twenty years in the water industry working in everything from process design, commissioning to operational, technical & programme management specialising in instrumentation & control including managing the UKs largest regulated flow meter management programme whilst working at Anglian Water.
Professor at Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Chair IWA Publishing Board of Directors, IWA Vice-President
Professor Enrique Cabrera Jr. has over 20 years of experience in the field of management of urban water services. His topics of expertise include regulation, performance assessment and benchmarking of water services, asset management and energy efficiency in water distribution networks.
Enrique is currently IWA Vice President. He also chairs IWA Publishing, sits in the Board of Directors of IWA and is the Chair of the IWA Benchmarking and Performance Assessment Specialist Group.
He is co-author of the IWA Manuals of Best Practices on Performance Indicators for Water Supply Services and Benchmarking. Additionally, he played a key role in the drafting the ISO 24500 standards on water services.
Enrique is a full Professor at the Polytechnic University of Valencia where he lectures on Fluid Mechanics and currently serves as vice-dean of the Industrial Engineering Faculty.
Director Business Excellence
Water Services Association of Australia
Greg is the Director Business Excellence at the Water Services Association of Australia. He oversights the Utility Excellence program at WSAA focused on enhancing outcomes for water utility customers through the use of all the internal levers available within a water businesses including people, culture, technology and business systems. He has a strong focus on the digital utility, being responsible for both the WSAA Business Transformation Network and Digital Strategy and Architecture Community of Practice. Prior to working at WSAA Greg worked at South East Water in Melbourne for over 13 years. He also has experience as a consultant and researcher.
Javier García del Río
Coordinator of Automation and Instrumentation,
Canal de Isabel II
Javier García del Río is a Telecommunications engineer, Industrial engineer and has a Master in Water cycle management. He is currently the Coordinator of Automation and Instrumentation of Canal de Isabel II, developing management functions for sensor integration, standardization of industrial processes, telemetry, remote control of facilities and supervision and evolution of automation systems. His more than fifteen years of experience in the water sector have taken place in Telecontrol departments. Before the current position, he had been working as Responsible of the Control Center. Javier leads the Digital Transformation strategic Plan, to which such outstanding projects as Industry 4.0 belong.
Javier belongs to several national and international associations: member of the IWA (International Water Association), also coordinates the AEAS Digital Transformation Group at the national level. Javier combines his work in Canal de Isabel II with the University, as an associate professor at Autónoma University of Madrid.
Dr.-Ing. Maryna Feierabend is a Senior Consultant at HAMBURG WASSER in Germany, focusing on digitalisation. Previously, she worked in a management position at Waterleau Group N.V. in Belgium, responsible for wastewater treatment projects. Maryna holds a PhD and two MSc in Environmental Engineering. She is a member of the International Water Association since 2005, was awarded IWA fellowship, served as member of the IWA strategic council, and co-chaired the young water professional’s steering committee. Maryna is a founder and organizer of twelve IWA Eastern European YWPs conferences.
Vice Dean, Professor, School of Environment, Tsinghua University
Shuming is the vice dean and professor of School of Environment, Tsinghua University. He has extensive experience (20+ years) in water resource management with a background in engineering, technology and management. In his time at Tsinghua, he has worked on a range of projects related to leakage management, early warning detection and smart water. He also sits on the Steering Committee of the IWA Water Losses Specialist Group, Co-Chair for IWA Water Losses Specialist Group for China Region, Associate Editor of Urban Water Journal, Convenor for ISO TC282/SC2. Dr. Liu has published more than 150 journal papers, authored 4 books and more than 20 patents.
Santos Paunero Herrero
Head of Innovation
Consorcio de Aguas Bilbao Bizkaia
Santos Paunero, head of innovation at Consorcio de Aguas Bilbao Bizkaia. Mechanical engineer Degree at Basque country university (UPV/EHU), Health and Safety Master`s Degree, Project Manager Professional by PMI. 20 years of experience in water treatment projects as well as in water treatment plants operation and maintenance.