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Ryerson Urban Water
Pallavi Roy on stage

 

Pallavi Roy participated in Wetskills Canada 2014 hosted by Ryerson University in June 2014. CanNorth and INCAS3 who presented one of the cases held in the Wetskills case competition, were so impressed with the solutions presented by Wetskills students that they invited their team to the Netherlands to participate in the Can-Dutch Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting in September 2014. Wetskills students presented their solutions on heavy metals in mine water effluent at the Chamber of Commerce Meeting, then submitted their solutions to a Future Technologies for Water Competition being held by the Water Institute at University of North Carolina in October 2014. The students beat out 70 other entries and won first place winning $15,000.

What was a highlight of the Event for you?

Presenting our project in front of many academic and industry
professional in the field of water.
Meeting the Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands, James Lambert.

What were the take home messages from the Meeting?

There are a lot of interesting opportunities for Canadian and Dutch
collaboration in the field of water technology and water monitoring specifically.

Can you tell us more about the added value of your trip to the Netherlands?

We visited Wageningen University: Checked out interesting research on algae and water purification

We travelled to Deltares:  Institute for Applied Research in the Field of Water, Subsurface and Infrastructure. A really interesting trip where we got to see real world research being done on a large scale.

Small Business Big World Event at Rotterdam, September 25, 2014: Interesting event with lots of companies and academia people involved in water monitoring. I got the chance to meet the Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands.

We followed the drinking water supply in Amsterdam from source to distribution to the city of Amsterdam. This was an interesting trip and very educational. I was really impressed by the way water is treated and the constant research that is being done to improve and always be one step ahead of issues of emerging contaminants, safeguarding the important resource of water

Your team also participated and won the Future Technologies for Water

Competition hosted by the Water Institute at University of North

Carolina. http://ftw.waterinstitute.unc.edu/finalists/

Can you tells us a bit about this competition? How did you hear about it? How did you get there?

We heard about the competition through the Waterloo Water Institute, where one of my team members is completing his MSc.

This competition was held in three phases. We had to submit an initial entry, followed by a detailed business plan and technical aspects. Finally, there was the presentation. We made it to the final 3 competitors, in which we faced very tough competition. Learnt some very important presentation tips. We won first place out of 70 entries and won $15,000.

Where there other interesting water technologies presented at the competition?

There were many interesting technologies present. For example, a system that
distills water from air, Drinking Water Monitoring Sensor.

Was there any interesting industry or academia there?

The Takata Corporation

Sally C. Gutierrez: Director of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s
Environmental Technology Innovation Cluster Development and Support
Program

Ku McMahan: Program Manager of USAID’s Securing Water for Food: A
Grand Challenge for Development; Executive Officer for the West Africa Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene; Program in GLOWS; Assistant Professor of Research at Florida International University

What did you learn from your experience in North Carolina?

The main learning was in terms of presentation and business case
development. Now I can say we definitely know what areas we need to improve upon in terms of projecting our ideas in a more professional manner for future events. We are learning the evolution from an academic idea to a real-world tangible marketable system.

What is next for you?

Our next step is looking at a feasibility study and pre-incubation at the European climate KIC greenhouse.

Anything else?

Wetskills was a great steppingstone for this amazing journey of opportunities. I learned a great deal about the water sector, met interesting people from the Netherlands, Canada and USA and re-confirmed my passion for water and environmental issues. It was great exposure to real world problems and how to connect the academic knowledge to solve the water challenges faced by society today.

From there, my team and I were invited to the Netherlands by our Wetskills case owner, then we entered our idea in the Future Technologies for Water Competition at the University of North Carolina and won it!

What a fantastic experience over the last 6 months! All started with Wetskills Canada 2014!

Team:

Pallavi Roy – Ryerson University, Canada. Masters in Environmental applied science and management, with a focus on renewable energy production and management.

Arun Raj – Waterloo University, Canada. Masters in Environmental Studies, Sustainability Management and Collaborative Water Management. Currently working on evaluating the financial value of sustainable water management in business.

Christina Mallin – Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Masters in Environmental Sciences with a focus on Environmental Technologies relating to sustainable soil remediation and development.

 

FTW Competition Winners Press Release