Milou Dingemans and Ruud Bartholomeus new Chief Science Officers

A CSO duo: a first for KWR

Starting 1 December, Milou Dingemans and Ruud Bartholomeus will together fulfil the role of Chief Science Officer (CSO) at KWR. They are taking over from Kees van Leeuwen, who will soon be retiring. This is the first time that the CSO position in our organisation is to be occupied by a duo. The researchers expect that one advantage this will bring is that research connections will be sought from different points of view.

Research relevant to society

The CSO is KWR’s standard bearer and advances the institute’s strategic position in relation to the outside world, and in line with the wishes and needs of clients and with issues raised in society. It is a key function, which must safeguard the high quality, relevance and impact of our research for the water sector. ‘I see the role as an opportunity and challenge to further shape the “collaboration” within KWR,’ says Bartholomeus. ‘To build even more bridges than we do now between the expertises within KWR. And to showcase KWR to the outside world as a trusted institute and knowledge partner for societally-relevant research.’

Visible Scientific Council

One of the tasks of the CSO is to chair the Scientific Council, which is responsible for assuring KWR’s scientific research results and vision. Dingemans: ‘Since KWR operates within a network of universities and other collaboration partners, we are able to incorporate the latest findings and methods into our research. This is particularly powerful. As CSO, I would like to contribute ideas and provide advice on how we can make effective use of these national and international links with a visible Scientific Council. This would inevitably enhance the impact of KWR’s research.’

Seeking connection

The CSO position has existed in KWR for years, but never in the form of a duo.  Bartholomeus and Dingemans see clear benefits to the new approach. Although they each have a specific expertise – Bartholomeus is a hydrologist and Dingemans a toxicologist – they both have the ability to seek societal relevance in their work and connection with other research tracks. ‘In a duo role, we both complement and keep each other on our toes. You see more together than you do alone,’ says Bartholomeus. ‘That’s a real advantage!’, adds Dingemans. In the period ahead, the new CSOs will further shape their vision of the ‘collaboration’ on a knowledge base for societal impact.’

New Chief Science Officers Ruud Bartholomeus and Milou Dingemans