Delft, Netherlands, 12 May 2014

Schlumberger Foundation renews grants to PhD fellows Jessica Salcedo Borda and Adey Mersha

PhD fellows Adey Mersha and Jessica Salcedo Borda have both received the 2014 renewal study grant from the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future program. The program supports outstanding women from developing countries in their pursuit of advanced graduate studies in engineering, science, and technology at leading universities worldwide. For the 2014-2015 academic year 84 existing grants were extended.

Focus on field work

Adey’s PhD research entitled “Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) for Sustainable Irrigation Development: Awash River Basin, Ethiopia”, focuses on developing sets of management options and providing scientific based analysis as to evaluating their impact in terms of balancing tradeoffs between the three targets of IWRM, namely; economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability, thereby, embracing the versatile interactions between socio-economic processes and the environment in the Upper Awash River Basin. By identifying the discrepancies between the ideal IWRM principles as stated in the National policy and its actual implementation, Adey’s work will support development of more effective options to bridge the existing gaps so as to promote sustainable water resource development.

Following her studies, Adey plans to return to Ethiopia and use the knowledge gained from her PhD research to deliver enhanced services in the fields of irrigation and water resources engineering and management. She expects to contribute towards improving the effectiveness of water sector development programs designed to achieve Ethiopia’s Millennium Development Goals.

“I am very grateful for the Faculty for the Future program's contribution towards successful completion of my PhD studies. The grant I received supports my second year of study which mainly focuses on field work for my research. Moreover, with the financial support I received, I plan to attend international conferences and relevant courses to build my capacity in my research area”

Developing lab experiments

Ms. Salcedo Borda is examining the effect of dams on N:P:Si stoichiometry along a longitudinal gradient of a river and the influence on phytoplankton communities. The research will look into the alterations of river flow regimes and the nutrients ratios on aquatic ecosystems.

After the completion of her PhD, she plans to return to Peru where she had been working at the San Marcos National University as a lecturer of Environmental Management and Environmental Impact Assessment.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Schlumberger Foundation for giving me this second grant which allows me to continue working on my research on aquatic ecosystems. During my first year of PhD, I have been working on my proposal in order to be approved by the Academic Board of UNESCO-IHE. In the second year, I am going to develop some lab experiments according to the settled objectives in my PhD proposal; moreover I am planning to assist to international conferences and to take some PhD courses related to my research topic".

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