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Celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

KWR provides an inclusive working and research environment in which everyone feels welcome, challenged and supported. Since today is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we asked our female scientists: “Why do you enjoy working in water science so much?” We are happy to relay what they had to say about their choice for and experiences in science.

“I love the combination of the technical challenge – that is improving mass spectrometry based methods to identify unknown water contaminants – and the relevance of my findings for environmental and human health. In my work, I can be creative, I keep on learning and I can make an impact.”
Andrea Mizzi Brunner PhD
Andrea Mizzi Brunner PhD
“I’ve always felt my contribution to society would be through public service. I studied environmental science and environmental policy and governance. Doing applied research for the water sector is where my scientific heart lies. Water is life! My mission is providing water stakeholders such as KWR, water utilities and policy makers with relevant knowledge and advice on policies to preserve and best use our scarce water resources, especially in times of climate change. My challenge: not only advice, but also make sure that the message is delivered to the right people!”
Stefania Munaretto PhD
Stefania Munaretto PhD
Brand Tessa van den
“The area between “the desire to improve sustainability and efficiency” and  “safe clean water and sanitation for everyone (primary goal of water cycle)”  is fantastic!”
Tessa van den Brand PhD MSc
Tessa van den Brand PhD MSc
“During my biology studies I was drawn to toxicology research as this contributes to a healthy living environment. It is very rewarding to work together with colleagues from different disciplines within KWR and the water sector to support good water quality.”
Milou Dingemans PhD
Milou Dingemans PhD
“My first science memory is when I was 13 years old at school. I was fascinated by the science discipline and specifically bacteria. I thought: “How come that such small organisms can sometimes be so powerful?” Since then I knew my profession for life. I started with soil microbiology and at KWR I transitioned to the water science world that I am still exploring. What motivates me, is to know that somehow we are working together for a better planet. I feel proud that I am part of the women minority in scientific research and I hope that other women work hard to reach their dreams, in or related to science, no matter what they happen to be.”
Afnan Khalil Ahmad Suleiman MSc PhD
Afnan Khalil Ahmad Suleiman MSc PhD
Hofman Roberta
“As a child I already was fascinated by science, so I studied chemical engineering. I’ve worked in industry, and it’s nice to see people now can buy the things I helped to develop. However, I missed the societal aspect. Now I work at KWR, developing methods to provide people all over the world with an essential product: clean drinking water.”
Roberta Hofman PhD MSc
Roberta Hofman PhD MSc
Stofberg Sija
“I enjoy working in water science, because it allows me to contribute to a more sustainable world.”
Sija Stofberg PhD
Sija Stofberg PhD
“I’m working as a hydrologist at KWR. Working in water science gives me the opportunity to contribute to solving problems in society and nature. I like that my job allows me to work on diverse projects that have a direct link to practice. Combining the technical solutions with social aspects is what makes this field of research interesting.”
Sharon Clevers MSc
Sharon Clevers MSc
“When I was about 14, I watched a documentary about the destruction of the river Amazonia. “I wish I could do something about it”, I said to no one in particular. My sister answered, and said: “You can”. Sometimes that’s all it takes. I’m an environmental engineer at KWR, specialized in wastewater treatment. And I’m a woman, working in science for 23 years.”
Maria Lousada Ferreira PhD
Maria Lousada Ferreira PhD
“As a program manager, every day I work together with many great scientists at KWR to understand how to ensure a sufficient and safe water supply for the future. It really motivates me to continue learning and working towards more understanding and a better future. Especially if this also means I can support other women in science.”
Geertje Pronk
Geertje Pronk
Snip Laura
“It’s exciting to be working in water science as you’re helping the transition from a linear economy to a circular. Wastewater is a resource, and it’s everywhere. In addition, water is an excellent carrier and can help with energy storage. The technological possibilities seem endless, up to us to test them.”
Laura Snip PhD
Laura Snip PhD
Tessa Pronk A
“I like working with data and getting the information that is in data out. In water science there is a lot of data available that can be put to good use, for instance to improve water quality, monitoring, and regulation. That is what I aim for at KWR.”
Tessa Pronk
Tessa Pronk