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.

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Doulaye Kone

Deputy Director, Water Sanitation & Hygiene program
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States

Doulaye Kone is Deputy Director, Water Sanitation & Hygiene program. He supports the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s effort to provide access to safe sanitation to the 4.5 billion people currently without it. He is disrupting the decades long status quo in the developing world sanitation sector by reinventing the toilet and reimagining fecal sludge management business as a sustainable utility service. He is responsible for the Transformative Technologies Commercialization portfolio, and for shaping the Foundation efforts in birthing a new sanitation industry to equitably serve the majority of poor communities in developing countries. Doulaye has more than 20 years’ experience as a Sanitation and water specialist; a development professional and lead scientist.

He holds a Ph.D., and MAS in sanitary and environmental engineering; MSc. and BSc in Physics and Chemistry.

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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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.

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.

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.).


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).



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

Enna Klaversma

Waternet, The Netherlands

Thomas Berendonk

TU- Dresden, Germany


EAWAG, Switzerland

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