Innovative training and research programme scoops award for dedication to developing future water sector leaders

A pioneering postgraduate programme delivered by five major academic centres of excellence in water science and engineering, including the Centre for Water Systems, has scooped the prestigious ‘People Initiative of the Year’ prize at the Water Industry Achievement Awards, for its commitment to developing the future engineering leaders of the water industry.

The ‘STREAM’ programme, an Industrial Doctoral Centre (IDC) for the Water Sector funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and with project sponsorship from companies in the water sector, is the first example of a multi-university collaboration at PhD or EngD level in the sector. The programme enables talented researchers to develop their skills and careers, while obtaining an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) degree.

The awards were judged by a panel of experts from industry, chosen for their ability to recognise truly outstanding achievements. Of the three shortlisted candidates for the ‘Peoples Initiative of the Year Award’, STREAM was rewarded for its significant and bold level of investment in skills, knowledge and competencies development in the water industry.

Currently in its third year of operation, the STREAM programme, which is delivered by Cranfield University (the coordinating partner), Imperial College London and the universities of Sheffield, Newcastle, and Exeter, already hosts 38 EngD research projects, all of which are part funded by leading water sector companies and nearly half of which involve more than one sponsoring company. Research Engineers on the programme attend advanced technical and transferable skills courses as well as conduct PhD level research on a wide range of industrially relevant engineering challenges - from climate change adaption to improving service resilience and reliability and protecting public health.

Professor Simon Parsons, stream Centre Director and Professor of Water Sciences at Cranfield University, said, “STREAM is a ‘people’ initiative in the broadest sense of the term. This achievement further exemplifies the dedication of both the collaborating institutions and those enrolled as Research Engineers to deliver a quality programme that develops the water sector’s next generation of leaders. The programme not only develops the career prospects of the Research Engineers, but focuses on nurturing a culture of collective responsibility and achievement amongst those organisations whose very existence depends on a supply of intelligent, mature, forward thinking and credible engineers.”

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