Naomi Timmer is the director of H2O People and Founder/Director of the European Junior Water Programme (EJWP). EJWP is a 2 year programme that empowers young professionals with career skills and networks for water management. Naomi began EJWP as an integrated holistic development programme for young professionals in the water sector – working together on a European framework for collaboration, instead of old fragmented elements. Connecting with other communities, like AIWW, is key to a sustainable contribution by organizations.
Naomi: “It is important for the water sector to poke their heads outside their comfortable bubble. To further strenghten our beloved sector we need to develop true connections and look at human factors and drivers of our business. We need to embrace talent and empower people.”
Complex human behaviour and communities
In her previous roles, Naomi experienced there was no real community and common culture of working on our water challenges. EJWP helps creating a shared narrative and focuses on professional development, with attention to the human factor in working. In this article three participants of the latest EJWP-class like to introduce themselves to the AIWW community, whilst asking us a few important questions.
Hedviga Horváthová (Slovakia)
“I work at the Technical University of Kosice, Faculty of Materials, Metallurgy, and Recycling. I am a lecturer in the program Waste Treatment and Recycling. I have worked on various waste and wastewater treatment projects using different chemical, physical, and biological/biotechnological methods. I like that I can work on something that helps create better solutions for human well-being and bring real solutions for various environmental issues. It motivates me, and so my job is becoming more like a hobby. Participation in EJWP allowed me to enlarge water knowledge from other prospects and train in ‘soft’ skills like communication, teamwork, and team leading. My plans for the future are ‘big’, and I believe I will utilize most of the experiences I have gotten in EJPW.
Hedviga’s question tot he members of the AIWW community: “What are your plans and ambitions in the water sector?”
Andres Lucht (born in Nicaragua, lives in Germany)
“I like data. It is factual and explicit. But only a Num3er. Life and humans are not. So how to combine them? I enjoy taking different perspectives, juggling with numbers and considering human feelings. Therefore, I need input and relationships. EJWP contributes to both – it is about our world and the people. Since I have dedicated myself to water, I would call myself a Water Analyst. But realistic, with a hands-on mentality. My vision is to find synergies, but not alone. Therefor I push the free and open distribution of knowledge and technologies. Financing my vision is my current challenge.”
Andres’ question to the members of the AIWW community: “Would you drink perfectly purified wastewater? Would you pay more for your water, so others do not have to drink wastewater?”
Benjamin Hermans (Belgium)
“I work for De Watergroep as a process engineer. De Watergroep is the largest drinking water utility in Flanders, Belgium. We produce drinking water for about 3.2 million households via 34.000 km of underground pipes, 160 water towers and reservoirs. As a process engineer I design and optimize the drinking water treatment. Through my job at De Watergroup, I’m enrolled in EJWP.
As a process engineer I’m interested in water-related challenges. EJWP allows me to broaden my horizons and look beyond the borders of my own company through masterclasses on European policies, water technology and innovations, and primary water challenges. I strongly believe this European cooperation is important and needed to tackle the current and coming water related challenges and creating a resilient water system.”
Benjamin’s question to the members of the AIWW community: “As integrated solutions and collaboration are needed to tackle the water related challenges, how can a (technical) person make a real difference, going further than doing his day to day job?”