CIWEM UK Junior Water Prize finalists and judges

This week (23.05.17) Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) hosted their annual UK Junior Water Prize on Cranfield campus. The award, which started in 2008, is a national level competition for pre-university students who have conducted water-related projects of proven environmental, scientific, social or technological significance.

Teams of school and college students from across the UK were present to defend their findings. A number of the teams involved had collaborated with industry and higher education partners to deliver their projects, producing professional posters and displays that were scrutinised by the panel of judges. Industry collaboration and defending work will help the students to develop valuable skills that will benefit both further education and their entry to industry.

The winner of the award, Krtin Nithiyanandam from Sutton Grammar School, said; “I’m really excited, I wasn’t expecting to win. I thought my project was quite straight forward but it did have quite a few applications and I’m really excited to be representing the UK in Stockholm.”

The winning poster was titled A novel, photocatalytic, lead-sequestering bioplastic for sustainable water purification and environmental remediation, and Krtin impressed the judges with his solid reasoning and impressive understanding of the subject matter.

Terry Fuller, CIWEM Chief Executive, said: “The UK Junior Water Prize welcomes entries from students aged 15 to 20 from across the U.K who have developed innovative scientific projects relating to water. This year we are delighted that Cranfield University are once again hosting the judging event, as one of the leading postgraduate and research-based universities in the UK.”

“The winners from our competition go onto represent the UK at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, which brings together young people from more than 30 countries to meet in Stockholm during world water week. Globally the competition now engages with more than 10,000 young people each year, supporting the next generation of water and environment professionals.”

Encouragingly the representation of young women in the teams was high, and the students enjoyed talks from Cranfield’s Dr Dani Barrington, Research Fellow in Water Engineering for Developing Countries, and Yadira Bajón Fernández, Academic Fellow in Chemical Engineering. They were also taken on a tour of Cranfield’s Water Science Institute laboratories, where they met some of the academics that helped Cranfield secure the Queen’s award for water and sanitation.

The panel of judges:

The finalists:

  • Oliver Hilton and Jon Barnes, Sutton Grammar School, SMART Irrigation
  • Mhairi McCann, St Columba’s High School, The Impact of Novel Agrochemicals on the Activity of the Marine Intertidal Amphipod Echinogammarus marinus
  • Shraddha Arshanapalli, Chloe Ellis and Rebecca Watt, Chelmsford County High School for Girls, Aquatic Pacer
  • Lauren Park, James Hamilton Academy, Selecting Microbes for Biological Wastewater Treatment
  • Sophie McEwen, Hailsham Community College, Effects of watercress farming on macroinvertebrate assemblages in chalk rivers
  • Natasha Kowshik, Cardiff Sixth Form College, Novel use of Anthocyanins and Photoautotrophs to create a Green Microbial Desalination Cell
  • Gabriella Bell, Jenni Lee-Orlopp and Hannah Foster, Teeside High School, Could Algae Save The World?
  • Jake Sidhu, Wolverhampton Grammar School, Developing a Novel Rain Gauge for Use in Urban Environments


CIWEM is the only Royal Chartered professional body dedicated to water and environment management, and has more than 9,500 members in 89 countries. CIWEM also accredits a number of Cranfield courses, including the Community Water and Sanitation MSc.

For more information, please visit