Abstract submission date extended to 17 January 2020!


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.

If you are a female early career researcher or young water professional, and would like to contribute with a presentation or a poster, please download and complete this form and submit to ECWW@cranfield.ac.uk before 10 January 2020. All accepted abstracts will be published in a Conference Proceedings Book available with open access on Cranfield University’s institutional repository, CERES.

Preliminary programme

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  

Professor 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 responsible for British Water’s strategic direction as the Chief Executive.
Lila was formerly responsible for the delivery of British Water’s international
services 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 more
than 20 years of experience driving business growth, policy development and
stakeholder engagement in a variety of industry sectors. Lila sits on a number
of working groups and is a member of the International Water Association
UK committee.

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.

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.


Delegates: early bird £10 (till the end of 2019) then £15