Agenda setting thought leadership from the most prominent figures within the water sector and beyond. Plenary speakers are the top specialists in their field and will provide the overarching narrative for the conference.


Entrepreneurial Adventures in Water: Lessons Learned and Future Outlook

Eric Hoek

Founder, Water Planet, United States
Professor, UCLA Engineering, United States

Dr. Eric Hoek has over 20 years of experience in water treatment research, education, philanthropic, consulting and entrepreneurial activities.

Dr. Hoek has been an engineering professor since 2002 with 140+ peer-reviewed scientific publications and  70+ patents filed globally. Dr. Hoek has also co-founded numerous successful water technology businesses including NanoH2O, Water Planet, PolyCera Membranes, IntelliFlux Controls and MembranePRO Services. Dr. Hoek is co-Editor-in-Chief of the John Wiley & Sons Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and the Editor-in-Chief of the npj Clean Water – a Nature publishing group online, open access scientific journal.

Dr. Hoek has a Ph.D. in Engineering from Yale University and completed UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Executive MBA Program.

Changing the water paradigm

Maxine Mayhew

Managing Director,
Natural Resources, Costain Group P, United Kingdom

Maxine Mayhew was appointed managing director of the Natural Resources division in May 2019. She joined the business in 2017 and previously held the positions of water sector director and Group capability director, responsible for Costain’s capability including technology, consultancy, complex delivery and asset optimisation. After completing a PhD in wastewater treatment, Maxine has held a variety of roles in her 20 years in the water industry focused on leadership, innovation, commercial development and strategy delivery across all aspects of the industry from operations and engineering through to central support services (marketing, supply chain, SHEQ) and retail operations.She is also an independent member of the Cranfield University Council and a member of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association Board.

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Micropollutants – challenges and current experiences in Switzerland

Uwe Sollfrank

Holinger Ldt, Switzerland

Dr. Uwe Sollfrank is president of the HOLINGER Group, a Swiss based engineering company specialized in water and environment. He joined HOLINGER in 1992 and worked in the beginning of his career for more than 20 years as a project manager and process engineer for environmental projects in several countries around the world.

He holds a PhD in natural sciences of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland and a master in environmental engineering of the Technical University of Berlin, Germany as well as a postgraduate in environmental engineering and water pollution control of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Dr. Sollfrank started his scientific career as a research assistant at the Institute for Water, Soil and Air Hygiene (WaBoLu) of the German Federal Health Office in Berlin. After his move to Switzerland he was working as an Assistant Professor in process engineering in water pollution control at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich before joining the technology development competence centre of Sandoz Technology Switzerland where he was responsible for environmental engineering projects worldwide as well as technology planning and transfer and economical and ecological project approvals.

He is responsible for the subsidiaries of the HOLINGER group and a Member of the Board of Directors of the environmental analysis company Envilab in Zofingen. Since 2010 he is as well executive director of HOLINGER Ingenieure, Germany and HOLINGER International Consultants, Switzerland. Furthermore Dr. Uwe Sollfrank is Member of the Board of Directors of the United Association of Swiss Engineers and Consultants (USIC) and the Swiss Water Association (VSA).

Arsenic technology research: crossing borders and disciplines

Doris van Halem

Associate Professor
TU Delft, The Netherlands

Doris van Halem is associate professor in the field of drinking water treatment, with a specific focus on groundwater contaminants, including arsenic and fluoride. Her research has a global orientation with an emphasis on filtration systems for low resource environments. The past years she has been leading PhD/Postdoc research projects in Bangladesh, India, Nicaragua as well as the Netherlands, supported by NWO-WOTRO (SAR/DELTAP), NUFFIC, NWO-TTW (FixAs) and Delft Global.

Doris graduated from Delft University of Technology in Civil Engineering and Geosciences with a cum laude MSc degree (2007).In 2011 she completed her PhD research (with honours) on subsurface iron and arsenic removal for drinking water supply in Bangladesh under the guidance of prof. J.C. van Dijk (TU Delft) and prof. dr. G.L. Amy (Unesco-IHE).

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Environmental Biotechnology: Opening the black box of the slime layers

Mark van Loosdrecht

Professor in Environmental Biotechnology

Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Mark van Loosdrecht is Professor in Environmental Biotechnology at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He graduated from and did his PhD research at Wageningen University. His PhD topic was a combination of microbiology and colloid chemistry. He was appointed at Delft in 1988 and became Full Professor in 1998. His research is characterized by the combination of scientific understanding of complex systems and development of new processes. Dr. van Loosdrecht’s scientific interests are mainly related to biofilm processes, nutrient conversion processes and the role of storage polymers in microbial ecology. In particular, he is interested in new processes related to wastewater treatment and resource recovery. His research has resulted in several processes currently applied on full scale such as the Sharon process, Anammox process and Nereda process.

He was awarded the Spinoza Award, Simon Stevin Award and a knighthood in the order of the Dutch Lion. He has published over 600 scientific papers, has 20 patents and has supervised over 50 PhD students.

Environmental Biotechnology: biofilms on active substrata

Bruce E Rittmann

Professor Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology

Arizona State University, United States

Dr. Bruce E. Rittmann is Regents’ Professor of Environmental Engineering and Director of the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at Arizona State University.  His research focuses on the science and engineering needed to “manage microbial communities to provide services to society.”  Services include generating renewable energy, cleaning water and soil, and improving human health.  Dr. Rittmann is a member of the National Academy of Engineering; a Fellow of AAAS, WEF, IWA, and NAI; and a Distinguished Member of ASCE.

Dr. Rittmann was awarded the first Clarke Prize for Outstanding Achievements in Water Science and Technology from the NWRI, the Walter Huber Research Prize and the Simon Freese Award from ASCE, the G.M. Fair Award from AAEES, and the Perry L. McCarty/AEESP Founders Award.  He is the co-winner of the 2018 Stockholm Water Prize.  Dr. Rittmann has published over 670 journal articles, books, and book chapters, and he has 16 patents.  With Dr. Perry McCarty, Dr. Rittmann co-authored the textbook Environmental Biotechnology: Principles and Applications (McGraw-Hill Book Co.).

Water treatment as a service for water technology companies 

Lydia Whyatt

Managing Director
Resonance Asset Management, United Kingdom

Lydia is MD at Resonance Asset Management in charge of water Investments and is managing $320m fund focussed on industrial water infrastructure finance, which she developed and raised. 

Lydia has over 13 years’ experience investing in water technology, infrastructure and service businesses and has over 18 years investment experience in PE/VC and infrastructure.

Prior to joining Resonance, Lydia was a Managing Director of the Environment Group at Fourwinds Capital Management and was responsible for managing Aqua Resources Fund, where she was on the board of Waterleau Group, a leading wastewater treatment business, and Monsal, the UK’s leading AD business, which was acquired by GE. She was also part of Kennet Venture Partners, and a management consultant with McKinsey in London.

Lydia has a Finance degree from London School of Economics and a postgraduate degree in Physics from Moscow State University.



Keynotes will frame the key discussions and topics that will be addressed during the Technical Sessions.


EAWAG, Switzerland

Charles Haas

Drexel University, United States

Dilek 1

Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Enna Klaversma

Waternet, The Netherlands

Gilbert Galjaard

Nanostone, The Netherlands


Membrane Consultancy Associates (MCA), United Kingdom

Jiangyong Hu 3

National University of Singapore, Singapore


Wetsus European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, The Netherlands


TU Munich, Germany


Korea University, Republic of Korea (South Korea)

Michael FLynn

NASA Ames Research Center, United States


University of Washington, United States

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Water Corporation, Australia

Thomas Berendonk

TU- Dresden, Germany

AWMC Portraits and Groups in great court

Advanced Water Management Centre, Australia

WE Toffey Headshot

Mid Atlantic Biosolids Association, United States

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