Opening Speeches

Prof. Jules van Lier

Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands

Jules van Lier is full professor “Wastewater Treatment / Environmental Engineering” and head Section Sanitary Engineering, Department of Water Management of TU Delft, with a 0.2 fte seconded position at UN-IHE, Delft, both the Netherlands. He received both his MSc and PhD from Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Jules van Lier is specialized in anaerobic treatment and his research interest comprises the development of cost-effective technologies for (waste)water treatment, recovering resources such as water, nutrients, biogas, and other elements. Current research lines focus on widening the application potentials of anaerobic treatment as well as nutrient recovery. He (co-)authored 300 scientific papers and book chapters, chaired the IWA Anaerobic Digestion Specialist group between 2001 and 2009, and became nominated member of the IWA Fellow programme in 2011. Jules van Lier is frontrunner in internet-based education, delivering massive open online courses (MOOC) and paid (professional) courses, like the recently launched high-rate anaerobic wastewater treatment ProfEd.

Prof. Kala Vairavamoorthy

International Water Association, UK

Kala Vairavamoorthy is the Executive Director of the International Water Association. He is an internationally recognised water resource management expert, with particular expertise in urban water issues. He combines a strong engineering background with practical international experience. He has published extensively and has a strong international profile working closely with the World Bank, UN-Habitat, UNESCO, GWP, SIWI and the EU. This includes leading several urban water management projects for the World Bank, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank and DFID.

Prior to joining the International Water Association, he was the Deputy Director General for Research at the International Water Management Institute. Kala was also the Founding Dean of the Patel College of Global Sustainability and a tenured Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at the University of South Florida (USA). Prior to that he was a full professor and Chair of Water Engineering at the University of Birmingham (UK), and Professor and Head of Core of Sustainable Urban Water Infrastructure Systems at UNESCO-IHE (Netherlands). He is currently Professor (adjunct) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM). Kala has a PhD and MSc in Environmental Engineering from Imperial College, University of London, UK and a BSc (Hons) from King’s College, London.