Dr Blanca Antizar named as Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor

Blanca Antizar, the European Director of Consultancy at Isle Utilities Ltd (Isle) has been named a Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Visiting Professor at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) at University College London.

Blanca Antizar, the European Director of Consultancy at Isle Utilities Ltd (Isle) has been named a Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Visiting Professor at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) at University College London.

The RAEng industry-into-academia initiative aims to utilise the experience of Visiting Professors (with backgrounds as industrialists, entrepreneurs, consultants, or innovators) to enhance teaching and learning of UK engineering degree students whilst strengthening external partnerships with industry.

Professor Antizar will join the Department of CEGE at UCL in September 2020. She will give an inaugural lecture on the future of global environmental security and resilience this autumn and organise two workshops regarding workforce needs in this area. Her aim as a Visiting Professor is to provide mentoring, enable internships and industry-based projects for CEGE students, and enrich their curriculum through her experience. Professor Antizar will address specific weaknesses in the current educational paradigm, offering best practice sessions for remote working, and wider participation of female engineers. She will participate in development and delivery of CEGE signature “scenario” projects that provide students with deep learning transferable skills through focus of teams on real-world problems. Interaction with the scheme will also realign Isle’s workforce development.

Professor Antizar commented on the appointment:

While we are still dealing with COVID-19, we need to stay focused on other related global challenges like climate change, poverty, and poor infrastructure with clear diagnostic tools, actionable plans, and appropriate resources.

I have never been more excited to be an engineer, and I am looking forward to developing the connection between academia, industry and the profession and transferring knowledge. There is so much to do, and that we can do … from promoting more diverse and inclusive environments, to fully embracing the digital revolution and collaborating across industries and disciplines. Using the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals framework, we have a fantastic opportunity to create a sustainable, safe and resilient world.

Professor Antizar will be hosted by Professor Julia Stegemann and will work closely with other CEGE academics.

Professor Julia Stegemann, Head of Environmental Engineering and Director of UCL CircEL (The Circular Economy Lab), commented:

I am delighted that Blanca Antizar will be a Royal Academy of Engineering RAEng Visiting Professor with our Department. She brings an exceptional balance of outstanding academic ability and industrial experience that will be of tremendous benefit to our students. Environmental security and resilience are critical to the future of young people and the health of our industry. We are very excited about the contributions that she will make to our student learning experience in this area, also for the benefit of their future employers.

Brief biography of Professor Blanca Antizar

Blanca is the European Director of Consultancy at Isle Utilities Ltd (Isle), a global and independent technical and innovation consultancy that works with over 200 water utilities around the world. Prior to joining Isle, Blanca held various academic roles at the University of Edinburgh, Universidad de Cantabria, University College London, Universidade Catolica de Portugal, and Imperial College London. Her interests are centred in the development and implementation of new technologies in the context of environmental security and resilience. She has been prolific at publishing her work in more than 100 papers (Google h-index 28, collecting over 3,100 citations) including 8 papers with more than 100 citations each. She graduated 11 PhD students since 2007 and has held more than a dozen of appointments as external reviewer for academic promotion and external PhD and MSc examiner.

Over the years Blanca has gained considerable experience both in the UK and overseas, more recently in Latin America, working alongside technology companies, end users of technology and investors. She has managed complex projects, coordinated strategic partnerships, and identified and secured appropriate funding sources. Selected clients include UKWIR, EC, IADB, World Bank, Sibelco, Ecofiltration, Hydromodel Host, Oxford Flow, Suez, Acciona, Almar Water, Anglian Water, Scottish Water, Vitens, Veolia, Aqualia, Sydney Water, Irish Distillers and Shell. Her innovative approach has been recognised through various international awards such as the Lady Davis Prize (Canada), Rieger JNF Fellowship in Environmental Studies (USA), Ramón y Cajal Fellowship (Spain) and Water Engineering Award (UK). She holds a portfolio of award winning projects, most recently the H2020 INCOVER project (Innovative Eco-Technologies for Resource Recovery from Wastewater), which has received the UK Water Industry Award (Sludge & Resource Recovery Initiative of the Year award, 2018) and also was finalist for Iwater ‘Best Innovation Iwater’, IWA ‘Project Innovation Award’, WssTP ‘Water Technology & Infrastructure Prize’. Currently she is Project Director of the World Bank’s ‘Utility of the Future’ project and other strategic projects and leads the EU Programmes at Isle.

Blanca holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. She is Member of the International Water Association (IWA) and serves as an Editor to the journal ‘Water Supply’ (IWA) and ‘Environmental Technology & Innovation’ (Elsevier), and as a Member of the Industrial Advisory Board for the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow. Blanca is the founding Co-Chair of the ‘Water Security’ working group for Water Europe. She is also a Non-Executive Board Member of the NGO Asociación Ria in Spain focused on sustainable environmental remediation while considering social and ethical impacts. Blanca is Fellow of the RSA, Elected Member of AcademiaNet (Expert Database of Outstanding Female Academics) and Emeritus Fellow of the Young Academy of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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