Alumni News & Events

Read all about IHE Delft alumni news & events organised all over the world.

Thematic Alumni events 2017

IHE Delft participated in the EP NUFFIC tender call for Thematic Alumni events. We are pleased to announce that four proposals have been granted  and will be organized in Colombia, Cuba, Indonesia and Sri Lanka from February to June 2017. These new events, of minimum 2 days, will offer thematic sessions on an specific topic and networking activities. All information and application procedure will be announced in January.

PhD alumnus works to restore Mesopotamian wetlands

On the occasion of  World Wetlands Day., Ali Dinar, who completed his PhD research at UNESCO-IHE, writes about hope in restoring the world famous Mesopotamian wetlands.

Hope for resoring Mesopotamian marshes

The Mesopotamian Marshes (Al Ahowar) were once one of the most extensive wetland ecosystems of the Middle East. Receiving water from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers flowing through Iraq, and the Karkheh and Karun Rivers from Iran, it extended over 15,000- 20,000 km2. Immortalised in the classic 1960s’ book The Marsh Arabs by Wilfred Thesiger, it was home for around 500,000 Marsh Arabs, descendants from the ancient Sumerians.

The culture of the Marsh Arabs was dramatically impacted in the mid-1990s by diversion of water flows, instigated largely for political reasons. The wetlands dried out, and the Marsh Arabs deprived of their way of life. By 1995 only a few scattered settlements remained. The destruction of the wetlands went largely unnoticed by the global community until in 2003, and after the collapse of the former Iraqi regime, restoration programmes supported by international agencies worked to direct water once more into the wetlands.

With re-flooding the marshes began to recover, benefiting both people and wildlife, but now faced another challenge from increasing upstream water withdrawals and deteriorating water quality. A focus on the hydrology and engineering also tended to neglect important social aspects and the need to work with tribal laws and traditions. Lessons from the early stages of the restoration programme are now leading to more involvement of the Marsh Arab communities in water resources management, and with more attention paid to small-scale projects operating at the community level rather than the larger and more generalised approach. While this can take more time for effective water management, overall it provides more sustainable benefits. There is still some way to go with the restoration of the marshes, but there is how hope for bringing back the important cultural and natural heritage of the Mesopotamian marshes of the Middle East.

Read the full article here.

Alumni Gathering | Chennai, India | 22 February 2017

From 19 to 22 February, the 4th international conference on Faecal Sludge Management was held in Chennai, India. Faecal Sludge Management is receiving global attention, as it is an increasing problem: people’s access to toilets is growing, but the service quite often stops at toilet provision. Hence, faecal sludge builds up and leads to environmental and public health threats. During FSM4, current solutions and under development were presented and discussed.

Many alumni of IHE Delft are active in this field, and several attended the FSM4 conference. Because of that an alumni gathering was organized at the end of the conference, at the Lemon Tree Hotel in Chennai. A total of 16 alumni were present, plus 2 current students and 4 current staff members. The countries represented were Bolivia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Kenya. A round of introductions took place; it appeared that alumni were present from a graduation date as early as 1987. Photos were shared from international field trips, original entrance passes; even original diplomas. It was very pleasant recollecting memories, more recent as well as longer term ones. The staff was informed that lecture notes of IHE are up until today still used in offices related to water, water management and water quality. Other alumni, still in the midst of their careers, explored opportunities to collaborate with each other and with the Institute.

It was a very pleasant meeting,  in which the common denominator IHE was celebrated. We expressed the wish to meet again, at least during FSM5 to be held in February 2019 in Africa.


IHE Delft Alumni Online Seminars

To mark IHE Delft Alumni day 2016, the first Alumni Online Seminar was launched in October.  Prof. Hubert Gijzen, Regional Director and Representative of UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa was the first speaker, addressing the topic ‘Water and the SDGs - A Vision on Water for Healthy People and a Healthy Environment’. 300 persons  registered for the event, which was also followed live by students at the University of Zimbabwe and new MSc students at IHE Delft. The event was moderated by Dr. Maarten Siebel.

This activity marked the starting point of a series of Alumni Online Seminars that will be designed as a means of providing lifelong learning to the Institute's alumni community. Since the topics are of interest to a broader audience, they are open to all interested persons. The sessions are interactive lectures transmitted over the web, lasting one hour, including time for discussion.

The second online seminar took place on 24 November and  Prof. Joyeeta Gupta was the speaker on the topic ‘Water justice issues in the Anthropocene’. The seminar had plenty interaction with the public through surveys using Kahoo and questions through twitter.

The Alumni Online seminar will continue in 2017, being the first on e planned for March. Do not hesitate to  suggest a topic or speaker sending an email to alumni@unesco-ihe.

The Alumni online Seminars 2016 can be followed by clicking on these links:

A group formed by Dr. Maarten Siebel, Associate Professor of Environmental Biotechnology, Raquel dos Santos - De Quaij, Education Facilitator, Maria Laura Sorrentino, Alumni Relations Officer, Wim Glas, Application Manager, and five senior MSc students, Viviane Virgolim, Vittorio Nespeca, Chidiebere Nnebuo, Subash Thapa Magar and Santhosh Garakahalli S., worked together to make the Alumni Online Seminars happen.

Students' experiences

Getting involved in the process was interesting and challenging. As engineers of water-related subjects, our academic training and work experience never included organising such an event, which had over 500 participants. The team had met to address all the necessary decisions and actions.

The first challenge was to learn how to operate and manage the Adobe Connect Software that was used for the event. Learning how to operate the tool was quite fun and we did many test runs before the main event took place. We learned how to operate the multiple screens, organise the user settings and planned all the logistics. Another challenge was to decide on how to capture the questions from the audience. Twitter was chosen as a medium to capture the questions, which would not only be a tool for interaction with the alumni, but also disseminate our event to the world. It is an interesting tool, but could be a problem depending on the amount of questions that were posted. How could we filter the comments from 300 registered alumni? That’s when one member of our team combined his knowledge from his Hydroinformatics course with the challenge we were facing. Using a tool that was built with the intention of gaining a better understanding of the actual situation during emergencies, we were able to download into a spreadsheet all tweets marked with the hashtag for the seminar (#alumniOS1). We organised ourselves to receive all tweets and read and categorize all questions into a few to be answered by the speaker.

The experience of preparing and running the alumni online seminar for the first time, was very interesting. Many lessons were learned and we are preparing ourselves to improve a lot for the future events.

Alumna Prof. PhD Esi Awuah: Winner award Order of the Volta in Ghana

Prof. PhD Esi Awuah, IHE Delft alumna from Ghana, was honoured with the award of 'Officer of the Order of Volta' by the President of Ghana, John Maham on 29 October 2016. She received the award for her role in Engineering, Water and Sanitation Education in Ghana. The Order of Volta award is one of the highest national awards in Ghana, conferred every year by the Presidency to Ghanaians and foreigners for their outstanding contribution to the development of the country. She had been involved in projects with IHE Delft such as the EU-funded SWITCH project on urban water management. Please read her citation here.

Excellent achievements by two alumni at IWA World Water Congress in Brisbane, Australia

Dr Rose Kaggwa, an alumna of IHE Delft has been awarded the 2016 IWA Women in Water Award.  She obtained her Master’s of Engineering and her MSc and then, in 2005 completed her PhD at the Institute.

Rose has worked at various management levels within the Ugandan National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and is the Director of Business and Scientific Services. She is responsible for Capacity Development and Training, Research and Development and External Services which is the NWSC Consultancy arm. She has 24 years’ of experience in the water sector.

She is Vice President of the UNESCO – IHP Advisory Committee for Human settlement, water and sanitation. Her passion is capacity development and raising the profile of women in the water and sanitation sector.

Read more here


Another alumnus, Dr Silver Mugisha, also from Uganda has been elected the Vice president of the IWA. He holds the position of Managing Director National Water and Sewerage corporation in Kampala Uganda. He obtained his MSc in Sanitary Engineering in 2000.

These alumni achievements were both announced at the IWA World Water Congress in Brisbane, Australia.

Informal Alumni Gathering in Delft

Three IHE Delft alumni from diffrent years and nationalities, Indonesia, Nepal and Venezuela got together in an informal alumni gathering in Delft last 14 July. The Alumni were for different reasons back in the Institute. Ms. Virdiyana Yuser and Mr Dibesh Shrestha were following a Short Course, Dr. Nestor Mendez returned to teach as guest lecture and Dr. Suriadi is Senior Lecturer in Land and Water Development. It was a pleasure to share a nice moment with them.

Alumni Gathering in La Paz, Bolivia

On the occasion of a staff mission to different cities in  Bolivia an Alumni Gathering was organised in the city of La Paz last 11 July. 10 Alumni with residence in the city attended the event and have the opportunity to meet to strengthen their network as well as be informed over IHE Delft activities in the region. The Institute has 67 alumni in that country and they keep connected through a IHE Delft Alumni Bolivia group on LinkedIn.  

1st Alumni Gathering in Lima, Peru

During a mission of Dr. Ali Dastgheib, Senior Lecturer in Port Development,  to Peru an alumni gathering was held in Lima on 6 July. 16 alumni attended the event that was the first gathering organised by IHE Delft in the country. It was a great opportunity to meet and greet as well as to strengthen the links among participants  and IHE Delft. Alumni shared their experience and needs and were  informed over the Institute, scholarships  possibilities and projects. IHE Delft Alumni are working  in many different sectors: Universities, Training Institutes, Governmental institutes and research centres and private companies. During the event  the official LinkedIn group ‘IHE Delft alumni Peru’ was launched and will serve to keep the community connected. 

Alumni gathering in Kampala, Uganda

IHE Delft organised an Alumni gathering in Kampala - Uganda last November, during the refresher course on ' Modelling practice and tools: their roles in water resources management in the 21st Century '. 40 alumni from Uganda attended the event and have the opportunity to meet and greet alumni participating in the course, IHE Delft delegation and staff members of the partner Institution. The event was held at the International Resource Centre garden where a cocktail was served.

Read more here

Alumni Refresher Course on 'Water harvesting: A missed potential for food security in the semi-arid regions of Sub Saharan Africa', Sudan

The refresher course on 'Water Harvesting: A missed potential for food security in the semi-arid regions of Sub Sahara Africa', was successfully conducted by IHE Delft and the Hydraulics Research Center Sudan (HRC-Sudan), from 22 to 26 November, at Wad Medani, Sudan.

Read more here

Alumni Refresher Course on 'Understanding, monitoring and controlling water/sediment dynamics for river basin management', Kenya

From 16 to 20 November Dr. Paolo Paron and Dr. Luigia Brandimarte from IHE Delft, Daniel Olago from the University of Nairobi and 23 participants from different countries in Africa contributed to the successful implementation of the Refresher Course on 'Understanding, monitoring and controlling water/sediment dynamics for river basin management'.

Read more here

Alumni Refresher Course on 'Roles in water resources management in the 21st Century', Uganda

This eight days refresher course was organised by IHE Delft in collaboration with Makarere University and National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) in Kampala, Uganda and the financial support of EP-Nuffic. The course aimed at strengthening good modelling practice of IHE Delft alumni in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. 

Read more here

Alumni Refresher Course on 'Politics and practices of participation in the water sector' in South Africa

The refresher course on ' 'Research & Action: the politics and practices of participation in the water sector' took place in Belleville, Cape Town, South Africa from 2 to 6 November. 20 African alumni, from 125 applicants,  were selected to attended the course making use of NFP scholarships.The topic and skills taught in this refresher course cross disciplinary boundaries. 

Read more here

Alumni Refresher Course on 'Managing flood for spate irrigation development', Indonesia

From 26 to 30 October 2015 the Refresher Course on 'Managing flood for spate irrigation development related to food crops security reflex to the impact of Climate Changes' took place in Bandung, Indonesia. The course was organised by IHE Delft, together with the Research Centre for Water Resources at the Ministry of Public Works and Sriwijaya University, Indonesia as partner institutions and the financial support of the Dutch Government through EP-NUFFIC.

Read more here

Alumni Refresher Course on 'Integrated River Basin Management under Climate Change', Colombia

From 31 August to 5 September 2015, IHE Delft and Universidad EAN with the financial support of EP-NUFFIC organised the refresher course on 'Integrated River basin management under Climate Change' to update the alumni knowledge on integrated river basin management, with focus on the impacts that extreme climate and climate change have on the planning of water resources at a basin level. 

Read more here

Alumni gathering Kigali, Rwanda

An alumni gathering was held on 9 July, 2013, in Kigali on the occasion of the International Wetlands Forum. Eighteen IHE Delft alumni from various countries in the region were welcomed by Prof. Stefan Uhlenbrook, Prof. Ken Irvine and Dr. Gretchen Gettel.

Read more here

Refresher course held in Kampala, Uganda

From 7-11 October 2013, a Refresher Course took place in Kampala, Uganda. During this week, IHE Delft alumni followed this course, which was focused on 'Integrated Water and Sanitation Management in Urban Slums and the Surrounding Environment'. The course was held in Fairway Hotel in Kampala, and was hosted by Prof. Dr. Frank Kansiime (alumnus) and Dr. Charles Niwagaba from Makerere University.

Read more here

Alumni Refresher Course on 'WASH service delivery in fragile states' held in South Africa

From 18-22 November 2013, IHE Delft alumni came together in Cape Town for the alumni refresher course on Water, sanitation, and hygiene service delivery in fragile states. The alumni came from various countries in Southern and Eastern Africa (Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya) and South Asia (Nepal, Sri Lanka), with lecturers from the University of Juba, South Sudan, ODI/UK, and IHE Delft.

Read more here

IHE Delft alumni gathering in São Paulo for Refresher Course on Membrane Technology

The refresher course for IHE Delft alumni from Central and Southern America on “Membrane technology for drinking and wastewater treatment” took place between 9 and 13 December 2013 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The course was coordinated by the Environmental Engineering and Water Technology department of IHE Delft and was locally supported by SABESP and alumna Mara Ramos.

Read more here

Successful refresher course takes place in Accra, Ghana

From 28 October to 1 November 2013, past IHE Delft students arrived at Accra, Ghana to participate in a refresher course aimed at discussing the role of planning and governance in relation to managing large dams. Whilst being able to share their insights, the course also gave the IHE Delft alumni the opportunity to update their skills, acquire new knowledge and network with likeminded individuals.

Read more here

Michael Mutale wins first IHE Delft Alumni Award 2013

Alumnus Michael Mutale from Zambia is winner of the first edition of the IHE Delft Alumni Award. Mutale has been honoured for his dedication to improving quality of life in Southern Africa and his efforts in solving water resources management challenges. He received the award during the Awarding Ceremony, that took take place during the annual celebration of the Alumni Day on 17 October 2013.

Read more here