Keynote Speakers

Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive, Water Industry Commission for Scotland

Alan has been the Chief Executive of the Water Industry Commission since its establishment in July 2005. Prior to that he was the Water Industry Commissioner. He was appointed by the Scottish Ministers to that role in November 1999. He has extensive experience in management consultancy and in the investment banking industry, being a former management consultant with Bain and Company and before that a Manager with Robert Fleming and Company. More recently he was a Managing Director of Wolverine CIS Ltd, a division of Wolverine World Wide. Alan has a MBA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA(Hons) from the University of St Andrews.

Chris Esslin-Peard, Director of Future Price Limits, UK Water Industry Regulator, Ofwat

Esslin-PeardChris Esslin-Peard is Ofwat's Director of Future Price Limits.  This project is part of Ofwat's Future Regulation programme.  The aim of the programme is to review fundamentally, more than 20 years since privatisation of the water industry, what Ofwat does, why it does it and to deliver changes to the way Ofwat regulates the sector. The aim of the programme is to consider whether there are better, more sustainable ways of doing things, and any changes that are needed must be soon, because new solutions may take a long time to deliver. Future price limits is looking at how Ofwat could change the way it sets water industry prices to produce better outcomes for customers, the industry and the environment.

Prior to joining Ofwat Chris has more than 25 years of experience in the private sector, mostly in the regulated energy and telecommunications sectors.  Immediately before joining Ofwat he was Head of Regulatory finance at BT.  His academic background is physics followed by a master's degree in finance.

Fred Pearce, Freelance writer and author of “When the Rivers Run Dry” and “Confessions of an Eco Sinner”.

Fred Pearce is a freelance author and journalist based in London. He has been environment consultant of New Scientist magazine since 1992, reporting from 67 countries. He also writes regularly for the Guardian newspaper, and is a frequent lecturer, having spoken on all six continents in the past four years. His books include When the Rivers Run Dry, The Climate Files, Confessions of an Eco Sinner, Keepers of the Spring, The Dammed and Peoplequake. They have been translated into 16 languages.

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor, University of Exeter

Professor Sir Steve Smith has been Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter since October 2002. In August 2009, Professor Smith took up the Presidency of Universities UK (UUK) – the representative body for the executive heads of UK universities and umbrella group for the University sector - a position he will hold until 2011. He is Chair of the UUK UK Board and the UUK Executive Committee. He is also a Member of the Government’s Research Base Funders Forum, and a Member of the Advisory Forum of Independent Review of Higher Education, which has been advising Lord Browne’s independent review of higher education funding. In addition, Professor Smith is also a Board member of the 1994 Group of Universities; Member of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) Advisory Group; Member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Financial Sustainability Strategy Group; Member of the Times Higher Education (THE) Editorial Board, and Member of the General Advisory Council for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT).

From June 2007 until May 2010, he led for higher education on the Prime Minister’s National Council of Excellence in Education, which provided advice to Government about strategy and measures to achieve world-class education performance for all children and young people. In the South West, Professor Smith’s appointments include membership of the South West of England Regional Development Agency Board.

Professor Ana Deletic, Monash University, Australia

Ana is a Professor in Water Engineering within Monash University’s Civil Engineering Department, and Director of the Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, an Interdisciplinary Research Centre involving 50 researchers at Monash University.

She became involved in urban water research in the ‘90s, studying stormwater management in Yugoslavia and Sweden. She completed her PhD at Aberdeen University in Scotland, where she lectured between 1995 and 2003. Since then she’s worked at Monash University, forming a world renowned research group in stormwater management. In 7 years she’s attracted $17 million to conduct research on technologies that employ sustainable, innovative ways for treating urban runoff for stream protection and human consumption. Biofiltration developed under her leadership was implemented across Australia and exported to Singapore and Israel. She led development of MUSIC V4, the industry-recognised tool for design of WSUD systems. She co-leads Australian involvement in a $10 million EU FP7 project PREPARED, that aims to adapt urban water systems to climate change.

She is Associate Editor of ‘Water Research’ and ‘Water Science and Technology’. She is chair of International Working Group on Data and Models that works under Joint Committee on Urban Drainage (IWA/IAHR). Ana is a Fellow of Engineers Australia. She won the 2008 Dean's Award for Excellence in Engineering Research.

Professor Vladan Babovic, National University of Singapore

Professor Vladan Babovic's primary appointment is with Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is also founding Director of Singapore Delft Water Alliance (SDWA) - a multi-national, interdisciplinary research Centre of Excellence for Water Knowledge involving Public Utilities Board (Singapore), National University of Singapore and Deltares (The Netherlands), established in 2007 through an initiative of the National Research Foundation in Singapore.

Vladan obtained his PhD. degrees from both UNESCO-IHE and Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands in 1995. In 2001 he obtained a business degree at IMD in Lausanne (Switzerland). Prior to joining NUS, he was Head of Emerging Technologies at the Danish Hydraulic Institute (1995-2002), Chief Technology Officer at Tetrasys, Switzerland (2002-2004) and Senior Research Scientist at WL | Delft Hydraulics (2003-2005).

His research interests include hydroinformatics, machine learning, data mining and knowledge discovery, real options and systems architecting.

In 1998, he was awarded the Talent Award by the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences and in 1996, the Dr Arthur Ippen Award by International Association for Hydro-Environmental Research. He has authored more than 60 book chapters and papers in peer reviewed international journals and more that 80 conference papers. He is popular speaker and has presented keynote/invited lectures in some 30 international conferences and served on organizing and advisory committees for many international conferences and events.

Professor Godfrey Walters, Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter

Godfrey Walters is Emeritus Professor of Water Engineering at Exeter University.  He graduated from the University of Cambridge and worked in the Water Industry for seven years before undertaking a PhD at Liverpool University. He started as a lecturer at Exeter in 1979, establishing Water Systems Optimisation as a research theme, later going on to jointly found the Centre for Water Systems.   He currently acts as a part-time consultant to the Centre, specialising in the area of Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Design as applied to a variety of real engineering design problems.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2011 10:47

Supporting Organizations

ICE - Institution of Civil Engineers
Pipeline Guild


Hydro International
Bentley Systems
South West Water