Alumni News & Events

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

Alumna Lauren Zielinski wins 'Emerging River Professional Award 2017'

The Institute is proud to announce that alumna Lauren Zielinski, MSc 2014/2016 WSE, from United States wins the Emerging River Professional Award 2017 at the 20th International River Symposium and Environmental Flows Conference in Brisbane on 19 September.

Lauren was recognised for her outstanding work in creating a monitoring and adaptive management framework for environmental flows, first focusing on the Kenyan portion of the Mara River. She then generalised the process into a framework that could be used to create such plans in other river basins in Kenya, with the potential to be utilised in other river basins in the region and around the world. The work was part of Lauren MSc Thesis at UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education, now IHE Delft, partner of the MaMaSe river project.

Lauren presented her work at the International Riversymposium on 18-20 September, and was joined by two other inspirational finalists – Mr. Dean Muruven and Dr. Tatenda Dalu (former short course student).

The Emerging River Professional Award is generously sponsored by OceanaGold Corporation, with the process managed by the International WaterCentre Alumni Network (IWCAN).

Get to know her project in the following video

Extra information link

Education Fairs visit & Alumni Gatherings in India

Ms. Ruth Webber and Mr. Ewoud Kok from IHE Delft’s Communication Office visited India in early September 2017. The main purpose of the visit was to attend four education fairs, for the recruitment of MSc students. The Fairs took place in Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi and were well attended. The fairs were organised by EduExpos and the Netherlands Education Support Office (Neso) India.

At all three locations, alumni gatherings had been organised in conjunction with our alumni. In Mumbai, they included alumni who had graduated in 1999 to a recent graduate, now doing his PhD at IIT Bombay and a couple who graduated together in 2005/2006. In Bangalore, the gathering was organised by NESO and attended by alumni who had studied also at ISS, Erasmus University and Twente. Finally, in New Delhi we were hosted by an alumnus, Ayan Biswas, who is Partnerships Manager, Akvo, Asia Hub who had invited other alumni and also a group of approximately 10 people from partner organisations who were interested in hearing about the Institute.

Another recent alumnus, Santhosh Garakahalli Siddaiah invited Ewoud and Ruth to visit the NGO where he is now employed as a project manager. It is CDD (Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination Society). Their focus is to promote decentralised sanitation solutions across the country. They work with a network of partners and are the primary implementation partner of BORDA-South Asia, in India. Santhosh gathered together a group of interested colleagues and a lively presentation of IHE Delft was given. During the guided tour we were shown their exhibition of wastewater and the decentralised wastewater treatment systems they implement in local communities.

Are you an alumnus from India? You are welcome to join the LinkedIn Group IHE Delft Alumni India or the Whatsaap group Alumni India.

If you have questions or would like to get an update about the activities of the Neso India Office in Bangalore, contact Mr. Anand Chakravarthy, Liaison Officer Neso India.

 

Alumnus Dr. Qiuwen Chen received the 20th Arthus Ippen Award 2017

The Institute is proud to announce that Dr. Qiuwen Chen, alumnus Hydroinformatic 1999-2004 from China, received the 20th Arthus Ippen Award 2017 from the IAHR association in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of environmental hydroinformatics and ecohydraulics.

Extra information: link
 

Alumna Cristina Viola wins Mandela Washington Fellowship

The Institute is proud to announce that alumna Cristina Viola, MSc 2014/2016 WSE CEPD, from Mozambique won the University of Maine's Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Cristina received an MSc degree in Coastal Engineering and Port Development from our Institute. Before that, she got her BSc (Honors) Degree in civil engineering from EMU.

Cristina has four years of professional experience as a civil engineer and has worked on several projects within her home country. Currently, she works as an assistant lecturer of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering in the civil engineering department at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique. Her primary responsibilities include lecturing, guiding lab classes, preparing assignments and conducting scientific researches.She also works for Salomon, a consultancy company in water resources and environment, as a senior hydraulic engineer. Her duties at Salomon involve the development of project activities such as GIS, flood management, environmental assessment, and research fields. Her passion for human empowerment has allowed her to contribute to the society through lecturing and mentoring students in her field of expertise. Cristina aspires to contribute to society through knowledge sharing and establishing strong links between academic society and the private sector which will create potential for future generations.

This text was adapted from a message on the University of Maine Mandela Washington Fellows Facebook page

Alumni Gathering at Stockholm World Water Week

Every year many IHE Delft alumni from different countries attend the World Water Week. It has become a tradition to organize a meet and greet for the alumni attending the event. The alumni gathering gives the opportunity to network as well as to catch up with partners and staff members of IHE Delft. This year, the gathering took place on Wednesday 30 August, and 20 alumni were able to attend. Mr. Johan van Dijk, IHE Delft's Business Director welcomed the alumni and highlighted the importance of the alumni community.

Alumni Relations Officer Maria Laura Sorrentino, shared the various alumni activities and actions that are being organized in 2017, in light of the 60th anniversary of the Institute. Dr. Themba Gumbo, CapNet Director, talked about the activities and role of CapNet and Dr. Jean Marie Kileshye Onema, Network manager of WaterNet addressed several projects and partnerships in which IHE Delft alumni play a key role. Drinks followed accompanied with good conversations and networking. During the week we were very proud to meet and greet more than 30 alumni at the IHE Delft booth and in the sessions.

Photo albun link

Alumni Refresher Course in Myanmar

From 21 to 25 August, the Alumni Refresher Course on ‘Urban and Rural Polder Development in Coastal Areas: Impact of Climate Change and Land Subsidence on Food Security and Environmental Integrity’ took place in Yangon, Myanmar. The event was organized by IHE Delft, in partnership with Myanmar Maritime University (MMU) and the Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department (IWUMD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, with the financial support of Nuffic. 

The Refresher Course was opened by the Vice Rector of Myanmar Maritime University. The Director Dr. Zaw as well as several other delegates of IWUMD attended the opening. Participants of the course included 20 alumni from Asia as well as 9 professionals from partner organizations in Myanmar. The 20 Asian alumni that joined the course were from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Vietnam.

The course consisted of:

         introductory lectures on climate change and sea level rise and its expected impacts on water systems and ecology of lowland areas

  • the effects of uncontrolled groundwater extraction, especially related to land subsidence to the surrounding areas
  • environmental and ecological aspects of polder development
  • lectures on integrated water resources development in Myanmar by Prof. Khin Kyu Kyu from MMU.

Participants had the opportunity to discuss the theory of polder development, as well as its applicability in real world situations.

On the last day of the course, an alumni gathering took place to link alumni living in Myanmar with the Refresher Course participants, IHE Delft and selected Dutch organizations. The event was attended by representatives of the Netherlands Embassy and Water Counsellor Mr. Armand Evers. During the event a special presentation was given by Dutch Consultant Royal HaskoningDHV who is active in several water related projects in Myanmar. The event was a great opportunity to meet old colleagues and make new contacts.

Thematic Alumni Event in Sri Lanka

On 27 and 28 July, the Thematic Alumni Event on ‘Livability in cities of the future’ took place in Sri Lanka. The first day of the event was a public seminar that was attended by 140 professionals in addition to 22 IHE Delft alumni.

Mrs. Joanne Doornewaard, Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, opened the event.  Mr. Nihal Rupasinghe, the Secretary of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development was also present.

The Thematic Alumni Event (TAE) programme consisted of lectures by IHE Delft staff members and Mr. Nihal Rupasinghe and Dr. Srikantha Herath, two professionals from Sri Lanka. The lectures were followed by a panel discussion moderated by William Veerbeek of IHE Delft. The morning ended with a networking lunch.

In the afternoon the TAE participants visited Thalawathugoda Wetland Park, an urban wetland being developed and maintained by the Wetland Management Division of Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation. The 25 hectare wetland is an interesting example of how an urban wasteland can be transformed into an oasis of nature. This location was used as dumping ground for dredging material during the construction of the parliamentary complex of Sri Lanka, which is built on an island, surrounded by the Diyawanna Oya river.

The expert Ms. Chethika Gunasiri explained that the soil was too acidic to grow any plants in the beginning, but nature succeeded in giving back life to this barren piece of land over time. Today it is home to 50 species of wetland birds, over 25 butterfly species, many types of fishes, dragonflies, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and many terrestrial and aquatic plant species. This park has a high biodiversity value, especially considering the urban wildlife.

The second day of the event was dedicated to the 22 IHE Delft alumni and some invited experts. An interactive workshop focused on ‘Livability in cities of the future’ and other important issues like gender in the urban water sector and future activities for IHE Delft alumni in Sri Lanka. Three interactive presentations were given by IHE Delft alumnus Mr. Perera, CEO of Lanka Hydraulics Ltd., Mrs. Wickgramanayake of the Coast Conservation Department, and IHE Delft alumnus Mr. Ghnanapala, former employee of Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation. These were followed by charrette style group-based workshop on the discussed topics. The event was closed in the afternoon with social networking activities.

For more information, click on this link.

Participant quotes

“This is the first event in Sri Lanka, as well as first alumni activity I had after my graduation in 2004. I had the opportunity to meet many alumni and exchange ideas and create a network among us”

”This programme gave me a new way of thinking and refreshed my knowledge of what I had learned. The session was really interactive. it allows me to actively participate during discussions. The programme is well planned. it is hard for me to find any suggestions, but I recommend to have this kind of programme frequently as it will keep us continuous developing.”

“I like the panel discussion very much. It explored vast knowledge on one stage. It was very interesting due to participation of professionals from different sectors.”

Thematic Alumni Event in Colombia and Alumni Gathering

From 12 to 14 June, the Thematic Alumni Event on ‘Water, Food, and Gender’ took place in Bogota, Colombia. The event was organized by IHE Delft, in partnership with the Netherlands Alumni Association of Colombia the Holland House, and the Academic Research Partnerships, with the financial support of Nuffic. Twenty alumni from Colombia and Peru participated, as well as 10 professionals from partner institutions and stakeholders.

Mr. Joris W. P Jurriens, the adviser of the Royal Netherlands Embassy of Colombia, opened the event, highlighting the years of collaboration between the Netherlands and Colombia. Prof. Juan Saldarriaga from the University of Los Andes welcomed the group and informed participants about the Academic Research Partnerships, a new collaboration signed among educational institutions from Colombia and the Netherlands, including IHE Delft. One of the initiatives will bring new possibilities of student exchange, research, and projects.The coordinators of the activity, Dr. Tatiana Acevedo Guerrero, Dr. Leonardo Alfonso and Ms. Maria L. Sorrentino, introduced the Thematic Event, a new initiative from Nuffic, and explained the programme and the importance of the topic chosen.

The event was structured over two days, with the main sessions focussing on the consequences of climate change in rural landscapes, including food security and urban water/gender intersections. The sessions highlighted the ways in which water production and evacuation reflect wider tensions - of gender, race, and class formation - in the country’s society. The programme was honoured by the attendance of Dr. Angelica Lozano, National Congress Woman of Colombia Green Party, who talked about the right to water law, at this moment being discussed in the Colombian parliament. Dr. Alejandro Camargo, from Montreal University, gave a session about food security and climate change, future and forgotten past in Colombia. Dr. Tatiaba Acevedo Guerrero addressed the problems Colombia has experienced in the past decade, of catastrophic floods associated with the global intensification of the La Nina phenomenon in the cities, persistent rains and flash-flooding events that have influenced the emergence of vector-borne diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and most recently, Zika.

Discussion times gave attendees the opportunity to reflect on the topics and share their work experiences and challenges. During the breaks, the participants took the opportunity to network. Some sessions were open to all alumni living in Bogota, which increased the networking and participation. A session was dedicated to alumni policy and initiatives, where Ms. Maria L.Sorrentino, Alumni Relations Officer, launched the project ´Alumni in action´ and explained the activities that IHE Delft is undertaking and ways to keep connected. Alumni discussed their needs and best practices and discussed future topic proposals and ideas. Ms Carolina Salgado, IHE alumna and member of the Netherlands Alumni Association, described the activities the group is performing and invited the community to be part of the Association.

One outcome of the event was a list of actions regarding potential education and research projects, capacity building topics and business opportunities to be addressed in future events or projects. This list of actions was worked out separately in each session, and discussed in the plenary session. Alumni evaluated the experience as very positive, underlining the importance of strengthening relations among alumni living in the same country. The selected topics were very much appreciated because they gave the possibility to engineers to consider a new approach that includes social science, history, and anthropology. An Alumni Gathering took place, attended by 35 alumni. The event provided alumni with the opportunity to meet and greet, strengthen and create new relations, as well as receiving an update about IHE Delft, the Colombian Alumni Association, Nuffic and the Holland Alumni network.

Found more information about the Thematic Alumni Event, read more here. 

Alumni Refresher Course in India and Alumni Gathering

From 10 to 20 June, the Refresher Course on ‘Solid Waste Management with focus on waste organic’ took place mostly in Pune (India). Organics, if poorly managed, cause various negative impacts but, if smartly managed, can positively contribute to the quality of depleted soils, to the near elimination of global warming and to the reduction of land, water and soil pollution. In fact, waste organics can be turned into a product with some commercial value.

The mentioned course took as a starting point the experiences with waste management of the participants, i.e. the wide range of personal and professional experiences and attached the science and engineering details to fully understand what is often now and what could be the future situation.

As part of the event, on 17 June, nine alumni of IHE Delft joined a special alumni gathering to meet and greet the course participants and two IHE staff members. The IHE alumni shared their experiences with the regional alumni attending the course and explained how IHE Delft had helped them to become water professionals in India. The nine alumni studied at IHE Delft in the late eighties, early nineteenth. It was a very pleasant meeting in which the common denominator IHE was celebrated.

Alumnus David Basco's Impact Worldwide

IHE Alumnus, David R. Basco was one of the Runner-ups of the IHE Alumni Award of last year, 2016. In 1976, Dr. Basco obtained a Diploma in Hydraulic Engineering with distinction at IHE Delft in 1976. His career then moved upwards and forward and is continuing today. You can read more about his personal experience below.

In 1976, Dr. Basco received the post-graduate, “Diploma Hydraulic Engineering (IHE Delft)” with distinction in the speciality areas of Coastal Engineering and Computational Hydraulics. The scientific and engineering knowledge gained has then continued to be applied today in his academic and consulting engineering activities.  

In 2016, he has been selected for the 2016 International Coastal Engineer of the Year award by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The award was presented at the 35th International Conference on Coastal Engineering (ICCE) in Istanbul, Turkey on 22 July, 2016.  Previous award winners from the Netherlands were Dr. Eco Bijker (1986), Dr. Jurjen Battjes (1990) and Dr. Marcel Stive (2015). "It was truly an honour to receive this award since Professors Bijker and Battjes were among the many famous lecturers such as Abbott, d’Angremond, deKonig, deVries, Gerrittsen, van Ette, van der Graff, Verwey in 1975-76. These professors have made a tremendous impact on my teaching, research and professional consulting engineering career. I can honestly say that my year in Delft attending the IHE “Courses” was the catalyst and inspiration for all my worldwide activities in coastal engineering for the past 40 years. See the UNESCO-IHE 50th Anniversary, Jubilee Book for my alumni story (Basco, 2007)."

A worldwide career

Dr. Basco spent 1982 with Mike Abbott at the Danish Hydraulic Institute (Horsholm) and the Technical University of Denmark (Lyngby)  that resulted in the textbook “Computational Fluid Dynamics: An Introduction for Engineers” published by the Longman Group, UK (Abbott and Basco, 1989).  In 2013, he was a visiting professor at the University of Salento in Lecce, Italy with Dr. Roberto Tomasicchio developing the manuscript for a textbook “Design of Coastal Structures” to be published by World Scientific, Singapore in 2016.  He is also the author of Part V, Chapter 3 “Design of Shore Protection Projects” for the Corps of Engineers’ Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM, 2000).

A second example of worldwide activity are the online, graduate-level courses in coastal engineering taught over the internet at Old Dominion University.  A total of 297 students from 29 of the 30 US coastal states and from 14 foreign countries have taken online course since 2004.

"I applaud the efforts of the UNESCO-IHE eCampus to “reach out” from Delft via the Online Courses to disseminate training material and for communication.  Climate change is real and the potential for accelerated, sea level rise rates threatens the worlds’ coastal communities. The need for training and graduate-level education in Coastal Engineering has never been greater.  The eCampus programs originating in Delft should be strengthened and expanded to meet the ever-growing worldwide need in Coastal Engineering and Management."

Thematic Alumni Event in Indonesia

The second Thematic Alumni Event organized by IHE Delft, with the financial support of Nuffic, started Wednesday 3 May in Malang, Indonesia. The event, held in cooperation with the University of Brawijaya focuses on ‘Water Harvesting for Agriculture Development towards Climate Change and Food Security in Indonesia’. 20 IHE Delft alumni from Indonesia and Vietnam participated.

The second Thematic Alumni Event organized by IHE Delft, with the financial support of Nuffic, started Wednesday 3 May in Malang, Indonesia. The event, held in cooperation with the University of Brawijaya focuses on ‘Water Harvesting for Agriculture Development towards Climate Change and Food Security in Indonesia’. 20 IHE Delft alumni from Indonesia and Vietnam participated.

The formal opening took place at the Brawijaya University Auditorium with the welcome given by Dr. Ir. Moh Solichin, Head of Water Resources Department, Dr. Ir F. Suryadi, IHE Delft lecturer, and Dr. Ir. Pitojo Tri Juwono, Dean of the Engineering Faculty. The course was officially opened by Prof. Dr M. Bisri, Rector of the University, who mentioned previous fruitful collaborations with IHE Delft, as well as the important role of many senior IHE Delft alumni at the University.

The first morning sessions were given by F. Suryadi and Prof. Suhadjono, both IHE Delft alumni, who gave an introduction to Water Harvesting and Potential of Swamp land for irrigation development in Indonesia. The sessions were followed by an active discussion among all attendees. During coffee and lunch breaks the participants enjoyed the opportunity of getting to know each other.

During the afternoon sessions, Alumnus Adecar Nugroho from Indonesia, showed the Water Projects being implemented by Witteveen+Bos Indonesia where he is working as a consultant.

Ms. Maria Laura Sorrentino, Alumni Relations Officer, introduced all the alumni and talked about IHE Delft, alumni matters and possible future activities. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion, where alumni expressed their wishes and new ideas to strengthen the network.

The course continued for two more days with presentations, discussion and fruitful networking. Among the speakers, Alumna Ms. Nguyen Cuc from Vietnam made presentations on Food Security in Coastal Areas; Alumnus Ir. Aziz Hoesein, on Water Resources Management in Indonesia and Alumna Dr. Gustini on Women’s participation in operation and maintenance, followed by a debate and discussion about experiences relating to gender issues with the comments of all participants and Aziz Hoesein, former Director General at the Ministry of Woman Affair.

Many ideas were shared, including activities to strengthen the alumni community in Indonesia, a future Refresher Course proposal and possibilities for Tailor Made Training for different institutions and companies where our alumni work. All concluded with a positive evaluation, the wish to strengthen the collaboration with IHE Delft, as well as to realize  some of the ideas mentioned.

 

Alumni Gathering in Malang, Indonesia

On 4 May, an Alumni Gathering took place during the Thematic Alumni Event held in Malang. Around 40 alumni living in the region, participants of the course and organizers gathered together. Senior alumni attended, including Prof. Suhadjono, Ir. Suroso, Dipl. HE, Ir. Aziz Hoesein and Ir. Aris Hartanto Dipl. HE all of them former Deans of Brawijaya University in different periods of the University. It was a cheerful event in a typical restaurant with conversations, memories, networking, just like at the old parties at the Institute in Delft, with songs and karaoke.

 

Water Sector Market 2017

On 13 April, IHE Delft hosted the fifth annual Water Sector Market. This event is organized every year for the public and private water sector to get acquainted and build long-term relations with the international student population at IHE Delft and its alumni abroad. More than twenty water sector organizations attended the event and were joined with around 200 MSc students and PhD fellows.

Read more here.

Thematic Alumni Event in Cuba

On 28 and 29 March the first Thematic Alumni event took place in La Havana, Cuba. The event was organized by IHE Delft, in partnership with ´Instituto para la Investigacion de la Industria Alimentaria´ IIIA and ´Universidad Tecnologica de La Habana, Jose Antonio Echeverria´ CUJAE, with financial support of Nuffic. This event was held during the mission of H.E. Mrs. Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands and Ministers of the Netherlands Islands in the Caribbean region to Cuba.

The event focusing on ‘Water Food Nexus in Coastal Zones’, was attended by 31 alumni from Cuba, Nicaragua and Guatemala. It facilitated an exchange of experiences among alumni facing similar problems in their professional capacities. It was also an opportunity to share knowledge on matters such as the reuse of treated wastewater, use of saline water for non-potable uses, latest developments on flood risk management, as well as the eco-friendly use and recovery of resources in food processing industries.

Although the majority of participants had studied at IHE Delft, there were also graduates from other Dutch educational institutions, such as Wageningen University, ITC Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation and Radio Nederland Training Center, creating an ideal occasion for alumni to share their knowledge and get together.

Part of the programme involved disseminating the results of two projects developed by IHE Delft and partner Institutions, CUJAE and IIIA in Cuba. Coordinated by Dr. Carlos M. Lopez Vazquez, Associate Professor of Wastewater Treatment Technology, the project ´More Water for Everybody´  tries to reduce the demand of liquid in urban areas by using saline water as alternative source; while Project REAL, led by Dr. Hector Garcia, Senior Lecturer in Wastewater Treatment Technology, aimed at strengthening the Cuban sectors related to the production of food and water.

Thanks to the support received from The Netherlands in terms of technology, know how and training, alumni knew first-hand part of the Project REAL, performed in coordination with IIIA and EDTA ‘Empresa de desarrollo de tecnologias acuicolas’. This project has validated an aquaculture system to increase the production of fish in Cuba, resulting in four years of continuous work in the production of Claria specie. On the other hand, Project ´More Water for Everybody´, performed in collaboration with Universidad Tecnologica de La Habana, Jose Antonio Echeverria CUJAE, proposes the use of saline water in toilets, as a feasible alternative in Cuba’s tourism development. This could reduce the consumption of fresh water by 15-25%, as well as the treatment of wastewater with membrane bioreactors (MBR), to such a degree that the treated wastewater can be reused. Last but not least, both projects include capacity development and training courses to facilitate the dissemination of the knowledge gathered from the projects and their long-term sustainability. Both projects have the financial support of the European Union.

Prof. Luis Cordova and Prof. Orestes Gonzalez, IHE alumni, led a session on adaptation to climate change. Ms. Maria Laura Sorrentino, IHE Delft Alumni Relations Officer and Nancy Alexaki, Senior Policy Officer at Nuffic ran sessions on alumni policy, how to keep connected and future activities.  Alumni discussed the future relationship with IHE Delft and Nuffic, and  shared ideas about all the possibilities offered by both Institutions, for exchanging knowledge and information.

The programme concluded with visits to the REAL project and the Malecon.

An important moment of the event was the visit of H.E. Mrs. Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, H.E. Alexandra Valkenburg, Netherlands Ambassador in La Havana. The Minister addressed  the alumni,  who had the opportunity to talk about their work and to discuss future collaborations. Mrs Bussemaker recognized the leadership role and the strength of an Institute like IHE Delft.

Exhibition sessions, combined with networking spaces, made it possible to strengthen relationships among alumni, and between them, IHE Delft, Nuffic and the Netherlands Embassy in Cuba.

All alumni showed great interest in the topics of the event, and welcomed the chance to become aware of the development of projects with impact for their country and the region..

Reporter Mrs. Maria del Carmen Ramon alumna Radio Nederland Training Center

Read more here:

Thematic alumni events 

Proyecto REAL

Proyecto Mas Agua para Todos

https://www.hollandalumni.nl/news-events/news/nfp-alumni-event-in-havana-builds-bridges-among-cuba-nicaragua-and-guatemala

 

First alumni Alumni Gathering in Cuba

First alumni Alumni Gathering in Cuba

During the Thematic Alumni Event, on 28th March, the first alumni gathering in Cuba was held at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in La Havana. More than 50 alumni from different institutes attended the gathering that was an ideal setting to strengthen ties between alumni and the Netherlands Institutions.
Ms. Alexandra Valkenburg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Havana opened the event and welcomed the delegation of the Ministries of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Netherlands’ institutions , guests and the alumni.
At the event, Minister Jet Bussemaker addressed the attendees and certified the financial support to hold a Refresher Course in Cuba, next September 2017, for Latin American students, funded by Nuffic and organized by IHE Delft, in collaboration with two Cuban partners.
All alumni had the chance during the Alumni gathering to meet and greet H.E. Minister Bussemaker, as well as discuss possibilities of cooperation with the Netherlands’ Education Ministries.
From now on, members of IHE's vast community of graduates in Cuba will be better connected, waiting for new opportunities to share knowledge and experiences and also sharing the experience of having studied at an institution like IHE Delft.

Alumnus, Secretary for Water Resources Bereciartua presents Argentina’s Water Plan

The Institute was pleased to welcome back alumnus Pablo Bereciartua, who is now Secretary for Water Resources in Argentina, to give a lunch seminar on Agentina's National Water Plan. Bereciartua was part of an official Argentinean delegation, including the President, that visited The Netherlands with to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to share knowledge on floods. Two Dutch missions visited Argentina last year to evaluate the situation.

Agentina's National Water Plan is a massive infrastructure plan that has been designed to position water resources as a key factor for the sustainable development of the country, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

The Government is keen to foster a policy around Public-Private Partnerships (P3) in order to make a smart and effective use of water in economic, environmental and social ways. Thus, the National Water Plan defines four main components for the water policy:

1) Water Supply and Sanitation where the goal is to achieve 100% of safe water supply and 75% of sanitation;
2) Large scale multi-purpose water infrastructure and biomass;
3) The use of water for production mainly the smart the use of P3 to extend the agricultural frontier, allow clean industrial development and foster tourism; and
4) Water management and policies to adapting our extended territory for better dealing with climate change and variability.

To watch his presentation about Argentina's National Water Plan, please click here.

Read more here.

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 in Chennai, India

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

https://twitter.com/IWA_Diana/status/785024767480897536

 

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.

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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'.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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