Exploring Innovation: A site visit to Cranfield University

Our team experienced firsthand the pioneering research and cutting-edge facilities at Cranfield, including the UKCRIC National Research Facility for Water and Wastewater Treatment and the Plant Growth and Soil Management facilities.

Isles Cranfield University Site visit co-hosted by the Institute of Water

At Isle, we don’t just advocate for innovation in water technology; we actively engage in it.

Recently, four of our dedicated team members embarked on a Site visit to Cranfield University, co-hosted by the Institute of Water Midlands Area Committee and Cranfield University. These opportunities aren’t just about networking; it’s about fostering the growth and connectivity of our professional community, especially those taking their first steps on the career ladder.

Cranfield University, renowned for its pioneering research in water science, engineering and management gave us a warm welcome. The day began with a tour of the UKCRIC National Research Facility for Water and Wastewater Treatment. Nestled within this facility were experimental setups where Cranfield’s students conduct research, exploring the complexities of wastewater and drinking water treatment and its environmental impacts. After a networking lunch, the tour continued to the Plant Growth and Soil Management facilities, a unique platform to assess crop-soil interactions.

Isles Technology Consultant, Stephen Tan explains, “Cranfield was originally a military base in a rural area, the university later adapted its infrastructure to address water challenges. The university now has an onsite drinking water and wastewater treatment plant with pilot halls for masters and PhD students to conduct research on cutting edge technology. In fact whilst we were there we got to see Eleonora’s rig that was still set up from her PhD.

Natalia Jawiarczyk, Technology Consultant at Isle and Institute of Water Midlands Area Committee Member, reflecting on the visit, shared her enthusiasm “Returning to Cranfield and reconnecting with familiar faces while also meeting new people, including members from both the university and the IoW, was truly wonderful. Cranfield is not only home to the UKRIC Facility, a unique establishment in the UK, but also hosts a diverse range of plant growth facilities. One standout feature was the rain simulator, which aids researchers in understanding how rainfall affects soil erosion. Additionally, it has the potential to facilitate experiments exploring how emerging contaminants like pesticides and microplastics move with runoff from agricultural land.”

Reflecting on the experience, Eleonora Paissoni remarked, “Having stopped working in Cranfield more than a year ago, it was great going back and catching up on the new and upcoming projects in the wastewater space, where I did my PhD research. Even more, it was fascinating learning about their cutting-edge drinking water pilot facility and how they plan to tackle emerging contaminants, in particular, PFAS, in future projects.

Isles Undergraduate Technology Analyst, Whitney Akem shared her thoughts, “My visit to Cranfield University was nothing short of enlightening as we toured the UKCRIC Water and Wastewater Treatment Facility, where we spoke to current PhD students about their groundbreaking wastewater treatment projects. Additionally, exploring the Treatment and Plant Growth Facility unveiled a realm of innovative technologies revolutionising agriculture through condition monitoring. Amidst networking with fellow young professionals during lunch, discussions ignited around the pressing challenges within the water sector. This experience filled with innovation and driving change, left me truly inspired


Isles Cranfield University Site visit co-hosted by the Institute of Water

The Institute of Water Midlands “The Institute of Water is grateful to engaged partners like Cranfield University that open their doors to our members for fun and engaging events. With a considerable investment in the water sector expected over the next price review period, it was a pleasure to meet so many bright students who are looking towards a career to support our industry. Evan Joanette, Chair of Institute of Water Midlands Area”.



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