Power of collaboration
In May, Professor George Ekama, an A-rated researcher in the Department of Civil Engineering received the Palermo University Prize at the International Water Association’s Frontier International Conference on Wastewater Treatment which was held in Palermo, Italy.
The award is in recognition of a long-standing collaboration that Professor Ekama has with Palermo University. It started in 2003 when Valentina Parco, a PhD student at the University of Palermo worked with Ekama in the UCT wastewater lab. She worked for three years and did much of the experimental work (together with some Master’s students) for a Water Research Commission funded project. She did exceptionally well, graduated from University of Palermo in 2007 and published several journal papers.
The collaboration currently includes a large greenhouse gas N2O emissions from biological nutrient removal activated sludge systems research project. These experiments were run in Palermo, and Ekama assisted them and their postgraduate students to evaluate the pilot plant data. This work is now beginning to appear in journals.
While Ekama was the one ultimately receiving the award, he said, “The importance of team work and the support of multiple organisations make this work a reality.”
Professor Ekama will be giving a seminar on his work on Friday 20 October at 14h00 in the Chemical Engineering seminar room. The event is hosted by the Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research and the Future Water Institute.