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Interdisciplinary research project will secure the future of water

A £3.9million research project, involving six universities and 26 companies from across the UK water sector, will ensure the UK maintains a clean, sustainable water supply for the future – with contributions from two Management School academics.

The project – led by the University of Sheffield – will help the UK water sector tackle key challenges, including population growth, ageing infrastructure and climate change. The project is part of the £21million ‘Engineering Grand Challenges’ funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Named TWENTY 65 (Tailored Water to Ensure sustainability beyond 2065), the project will ensure flexible and adaptive water systems by developing multiple solutions and technologies that can be ‘tailored’ to suit specific circumstances. Dr Kamal Birdi and Dr Tina McGuiness from the Management School are involved in two of the project’s eight key themes – Collaboration for Innovation, and Mobilisation respectively.

Professor Joby Boxall, from the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering and Director of Sheffield Water Centre, who will head the TWENTY 65 project, said: “Water supply is the foundation of society, but a service we are privileged to be able to take for granted in the UK. There is no single solution to the sustainable supply of safe clean water for the future. Our vision is that by 2065, collaborative innovation has generated a water sector that is delivering sustainable tailored water solutions that positively impact on public health, the environment, the economy and society. New approaches and models for collaborative working across the water sector are an essential part of the project. We have support pledged from over 50 partners and will be looking to get more organisations on board. This is a truly unique and exciting opportunity to take a long-term view of how we can develop and implement technology to deliver transformative change.”

The project was developed in response to an EPSRC call in early 2015 which set out four Engineering Grand Challenges, developed through a two day event involving academics from many disciplines, representatives from industry and government.

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