The ‘Early Career Women in Water 2020 Conference' has been postponed until a later date, hopefully in Autumn 2020. A new date will be published as soon as it is confirmed.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

If you have any questions regarding this event please contact Tania Rice.


The 100-year anniversary of Women in Engineering and Sciences in the UK was celebrated throughout 2019. Despite the recognised need for diversification in STEM-related roles, statistics show that only 12% of professional engineers, 21% of all academic professors and 20% of the UK water sector’s workforce identify as women. This under-representation of women has resulted in a loss of talent within these sectors, with diversity recognised as being crucial for a more holistic approach in research, especially when providing solutions that aim to serve societies. However, change is on the horizon, and there is a need to continue to raise the profile of ‘Women in Water’ and encourage women to aspire to exciting careers within academia and industry.

Aim of the conference

This conference is open to both men and women attendees working to support women in engineering and STEM. The event will provide a platform for female early career researchers and young water professionals to promote their work and research, thereby encouraging careers within the water sector and increasing the visibility of women working within these areas.


The programme includes keynote speeches, two plenary sessions for presentations and a poster session to highlight leading work, and a conclusive discussion panel to debate gender issues in the water sector.

Our inspirational, highly successful ‘Women in Water’ keynote speakers are Professor Elise Cartmell and Lila Thompson, who will discuss their projects and career development in industry and academia within science and engineering.

Prof. Elise Cartmell  

Elise Cartmell is the Chief Scientist at Scottish Water,
responsible for sampling, laboratory and scientific services and for
research and innovation.

Elise joined Scottish Water in April 2016 following a career in academia
at Cranfield University, where she was Professor of Water Technology
and Director of Environmental Technology. Here she specialised in wastewater
treatment with particular reference to trace contaminants and anaerobic processes.

Elise is a chemist with a BSc (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh and
PhD from Imperial College, London. Prior to joining Cranfield in 2000 she
was a research scientist at WRc plc. She is a fellow of the Royal Society
of Edinburgh and Royal Society of Chemistry and is on the Board of UKWIR

 lila thompson

Lila is the Chief Executive of British Water, a dynamic trade association with
a varied membership of companies covering all sectors of the water and wastewater
industry. British Water works to bring a coherent voice on behalf of the industry and
ensure its members have access to information and contacts that they need to
enhance their business development and best practices.

Lila was formerly responsible for the delivery of British Water’s international services
which included leading scoping and business development visits to a wide range of
markets including Saudi Arabia, Libya, Morocco, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, China
and India to help companies grow their business overseas.

Lila has a BSc (Hons) from Birkbeck, University of London in Economics & Social Policy
and a Diploma in International Trade. Lila has over 20 years of international experience
supporting business growth, policy development and stakeholder engagement
in a variety of industry sectors.

Event programme

09.00-09.30 Registration
09.30-09.45 Welcome speech – Ana Soares, Senior Lecturer at Cranfield University
09.45-10.30 Keynote - Elise Cartmell, Chief Scientist at Scottish Water
10.30-11.00 Presentations 10.30- From geomorphology to archaeology: disentangling river changes over different timescales Kim Vercruysse, Cranfield University 10.45-Exploring approaches to adaptive pathways applied in flooding and coastal erosion risk management Leonie Constantine, Wood
11.00-11.30 Break and poster session
11.30-12.30 Presentations 11.30- Transforming slow sand filtration for drinking water supply Tolulope Elemo, Cranfield University 11.45- Delving into the future of drinking water: chemical free drinking water treatment and distribution experimentations Natalie Lamb, Anglian Water/University of Sheffield 12.00- How can we predict environmental AMR pollution in emerging countries with limited data? Amelie Ott, Newcastle University 12.15- Water treatment work outages and the impact on supply Rachel Malcove, Wood
12.30-14.00 Lunch and poster session
14.00-14.45 Keynote – Lila Thompson, CEO of British Water
14.45-15.15 Presentations 14.45- Rooting out resilience Elizabeth Lawson, University of Exeter 15.00- The route map to net-zero carbon emissions for the UK water sector by 2030 Ellie Russell, Mott MacDonald
15.15-15.45 Break and poster session
15.45-16.15 Presentations 15.45- Keeping your head above water! Jo Cullen, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water 15.55- More than just a Technical Analyst – a Yorkshire Water perspective Anne Newton, Yorkshire Water 16.05- Women’s leadership in WASH: do we understand the barriers in developing countries? Ameerah Anathallee, Région Sud (Regional Council of the Provence Alpes Côtes d’Azur region in France)
16.15-16.50 Panel discussion • Lila Thompson, British Water • Elise Cartmell, Scottish Water • Dr Raffaella Villa, De Montfort University, Leicester • Prof Bruce Jefferson, Cranfield University Chair: Dr Ana Soares, Cranfield University
16.50-17.00 Closing session and poster and presentation prize winners

Location and travel details

Vincent Building
Cranfield University
MK43 0AL

Cranfield University is located at the very heart of the UK – within the innovation triangle between London and the cities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Our central location provides easy access from the M1, excellent main line rail service as well as proximity to key international airports. Set in rolling countryside, Cranfield offers a rich, rural landscape complemented by thriving towns and picturesque villages.

Road: we are just 10 minutes from Junctions 13 and 14 of the M1 motorway; there is free parking on campus.
Rail: Milton Keynes or Bedford.
Air: London Luton (22 miles), Heathrow (50 miles) or Birmingham (70 miles).

For further travel details please visit our location page.


If you would like to book accommodation whilst visiting then we are pleased to offer en suite accommodation on campus, which is within easy walking distance of lecture rooms and other facilities. To make an enquiry or booking, please contact the Cranfield Management Development Centre.

Who should attend

  • Young water professionals,
  • Early career researchers in water,
  • MSc students,
  • PhD students,
  • Members of the water science/engineering community.

Sponsorship opportunities

To help to fund the conference, a collection of attractive sponsorship packages are available for organisations who wish to support this initiative. All sponsors will be acknowledged during the conference and listed on relevant communications.

Conference organising committee

Olivia Berzal de Frutos
Samuela Guida
Natalia Jawiarczyk
Andrea Momblanch
Chrissa Sfynia
Rachel Whitton


Delegates: £15