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Science and society: daily practice at KWR

10 November: World Science Day

Today is World Science Day: a day to reflect on the role of science in society. There are many questions in the water sector concerning a safe and sustainable water supply. Questions that call for innovative solutions that can be implemented in practice. And this is human work, something that is the order of the day at KWR. Are you also curious about what it means to conduct scientific research with a societal responsibility for water? Discover a few personal perspectives shared here.

Andreas Moerman – researcher

Moerman Andreas
‘Doing research at KWR for me means working at the interface of science and practice. Thorough research is essential for an understanding of the impact of our behaviour on our environment, from greenhouse gas emissions to water use. One of the key tasks of science is to find the connections between everyday practice and the complex issues that often lie behind it. I wish to contribute to deepening our understanding of this.’
Andreas Moerman MSc
Andreas Moerman MSc

Pascal Kooij  – analyst

Kooij Pascal
‘Water is one of our basic needs. This is why I see my work in KWR’s laboratory as contributing to the safety of people. This motivates me greatly. Our advanced equipment and techniques allow us to detect compounds in water that represent a potential hazard. We investigate the possible risks and how we might remove the compounds, preventing them from ending up in the environment. The one investigation feeds into the next, you could say. This shows you how important science is in finding solutions.’
Pascal Kooij BSc
Pascal Kooij BSc

Tessa Pronk – researcher

Tessa Pronk  A
‘Improving water quality touches on all kinds of questions, from drinking water to nature. I am really energised by the challenge of using scientific information to map out a problem or answer questions. The more complicated they are, the better. And the future presents us with more than enough challenges, like the growing number of microcontaminants. How can you trace their sources? And how do you determine the health hazards? I think it’s extremely valuable to contribute to this effort here as a researcher, in particular because at KWR we work with a variety of partners in translating the outcomes into practice.’
Tessa Pronk
Tessa Pronk

Joost van Summeren – researcher

Summeren Joost van
‘I see science as a candle in the dark. It helps us throw light on the world, and provides the foundation for technical innovation. What I find extremely fulfilling is to delve into a subject and get a sense of discovering something new. Or to see the outcome’s development and implementation applied in practice. The fact that our clients are the drinking water utilities means a great deal to me, because they pursue a public good: clean, safe and sustainably-produced drinking water.’
Joost van Summeren PhD
Joost van Summeren PhD

Alifta Ariestiwi  – software developer

Ariestiwi Alifta  web
‘My father worked as a civil engineer for irrigation projects in Indonesia and he often took us to work with him. I really liked that, but I also noticed that his work was very time-consuming. And I wondered if there was a technology to make the practice more efficient and effective. Later on, when I got acquainted with all kinds of software tools at university, I thought: that’s it! Since then I knew that I wanted to develop scientific software for applications with water. I now do that every day at KWR, producing tools that are as user-friendly as possible.’
Alifta Ariestiwi MSc
Alifta Ariestiwi MSc

Stefanie Salmon – researcher

‘In my daily work I translate psychological theories into applications that prompt drinking water customers to become more aware in dealing with their tapwater. Extremely topical, certainly in view of the dry summers we’ve had in recent years. Because this obviously has an impact on drinking water use, while we naturally also wish to dispose of sufficient drinking water in the future. Nudges in the right direction seem to help more than does providing information. Since my research focuses on human behaviour, there’s no chance that it will become boring soon!’
Stefanie Salmon PhD
Stefanie Salmon PhD

Michiel Hootsmans – senior researcher

Hootsmans Michiel
‘Science offers the best way of understanding the world around us. Together with colleagues within and outside KWR, I work on DNA techniques to monitor the biodiversity in surface water. DNA gives us an unprecedented new view into aquatic life – from fish to diatoms, but also bacteria and fungi. Both the techniques themselves and their application present us with all kinds of complicated questions. Collaboration is hugely important here: from the lab right out to the field.’
Michiel Hootsmans PhD MSc
Michiel Hootsmans PhD MSc

Anita van der Veen – analyst

‘No two days are the same at KWR’s lab. I work on a routine job one day, and the next a project involving an important research question awaits me. Or I contribute to solutions for water utilities, helping them move in the right direction. This makes the lab work both challenging and special for me.’
Anita van der Veen
Anita van der Veen

Wolter Siegers – researcher

‘I get a lot of satisfaction from translating research questions into an experiment or a pilot installation for our clients. At KWR we test new water treatment techniques in a variety of ways. To me this work is highly relevant, particularly given the emergence of all kinds of anthropogenic compounds that threaten the quality of surface- and groundwater. The challenge of removing these compounds from the water is getting bigger and bigger.’
Wolter Siegers
Wolter Siegers

Tavishi Guleria – researcher

‘I find the idea of reusing wastewater as a resource enormously inspiring. It shows that you can come up with surprising insights from science for a better world. As a young researcher, it is stimulating to work with renowned scientists, and KWR offers me plenty of opportunity to do so. I still have a whole life ahead of me in which I hope to contribute to the impact of science on society.’
Tavishi Guleria
Tavishi Guleria