Category: News and Events

Award: Mariam Zaqout

Award: Mariam Zaqout

Mariam Zaqout, a CDT-aligned student, won the Water @ Leeds Spring Award, an impressive achievement as this is open to several hundred researchers. She also won ‘Best Paper’ at the 2021 WaterAid Research Awards for the paper Sustainable sanitation jobs: prospects for enhancing the livelihoods of pit-emptiers in Bangladesh (2021), Third World Quarterly.

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SAFAD charity work: Hannah Ritchie and Lucy Whitley

SAFAD charity work: Hannah Ritchie and Lucy Whitley

We have been running (treasurer and president) Cranfield’s international development charity (SAFAD) this year – a charity that aims to relieve poverty by promoting appropriate development, community participation and capacity building. SAFAD sends Cranfield students with technical skills obtained from their MSc degrees to work with local organisations on new and existing projects amongst the WASH, environmental engineering, agricultural and management sectors. The volunteers, in turn, gain practical experience through their work.

Diversity in WASH study

Diversity in WASH study

Professor Barbara Evans (director of the Water-WISER CDT) put Ruth Sylvester Georgia Hales in contact with Kimberly Worsham, founder and director of FLUSH, an American sanitation and hygiene education, advocacy, and consultancy organisation. Kim needed extra help with data collection: demographic data on 1472 global sanitation leaders across 105 organisations. The resulting paper was published in Sage’s Environmental Health insights journal in July 2021 and the work has been presented via poster at the Colorado WASH Symposium in March 2021 and via presentation at the WEDC conference in September 2021.

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IUG Gaza Collaboration

IUG Gaza Collaboration

Across the three universities, several Water-WISER and aligned PhD students formed a working group focused on discussing and dismantling the inequalities that exist between global north and south WASH researchers. Mariam Zaqout, a Palestinian researcher in the final year of her PhD at Leeds and a CDT-aligned student, initiated a meeting between the Islamic University of Gaza wherein students across all four universities were able to introduce themselves and their research topics to one another.

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Challenge Event 2021

Challenge Event 2021

On 22-25 June 2021, students and staff from the Water-WISER CDT gathered at Cranfield University for our first in-person event since the pandemic began.

The ‘Challenge Event’ normally focuses on activities designed to give students skills in problem-solving, team working and networking, in a variety of outdoor settings. The annual event brings together the full cohort of students from each university – Leeds, Loughborough, Cranfield.

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Water-WISER CDT activities during the COVID pandemic

Water-WISER CDT activities during the COVID pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic occurred halfway through the first year of the CDT, so this prevented in-person events and activities from going ahead. However, the network of staff and students has been working effectively online and the following activities took place:

  • Research Skills Week April 2020 – an extensive programme of advanced skills training
  • Summer Skills Workshops 2020 – a bespoke series of workshops developed in response to the COVID lockdown by the CDT academic team
  • Inductions for new students Sept 2020
  • Research Skills Week Jan 2021
  • Summer Skills Workshops 2021

We are hoping to hold our first in-person ‘Challenge Event’ in more than a year, in June 2021, at Cranfield University campus and local area, including team-building problem-solving activities and research presentations. Crossing fingers that it goes ahead!

Paper Submission

Paper Submission

Congratulations to Hannah Ritchie! Hannah is our first Water-WISER CDT student to submit a paper (within her second year of study on the CDT programme). Hannah’s paper “Sand dams as a potential solution to rural water security in drylands: Existing research and future opportunities” will be published in the Journal Frontiers in Water, section Water and Climate. Hannah is currently on a prestigious internship at the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) working on water resource issues.

Challenge Week 2020

Challenge Week 2020

The Water-WISER CDT Challenge Week 2020 took place in Youlgreave in the Peak District, 7-10 January 2020, involving all Water-WISER CDT students, aligned PhD students, the Water-WISER CDT academic management team and a selection of industry representatives and experts.

This annual event is designed as a cohort-building activity for the CDT students, as well as a networking experience.

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