Cranfield University and the International Water Association have announced fifteen new scholarships to develop the water scientists and engineers of the future.

It is hoped that the scholarships announced today will help the next generation of water scientists and engineers to develop their skills and become leaders in the worldwide fight to improve the resilience and sustainability of water supply and sanitation systems and protect the natural environment.

Scientists and engineers at Cranfield are involved in a number of projects that are seeking technological solutions to global challenges of inadequate sanitation, reliable water quality for communities and, the impacts of flood and drought on farming. For example our work on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded, Nano Membrane Toilet.

Professor Paul Jeffrey, Director of Water at Cranfield University, said: “These scholarships across our full range of postgraduate programmes will help develop the next generation of leaders that we desperately need in the water industry both in the UK and around the world.

“If we are to realise the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ‘ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’, then we need to increase the skills base of water scientists and engineers, who can help develop the solutions to these global challenges.

“I’m extremely grateful for the support of the International Water Association in enabling us to provide these scholarships, together we are both committed to training and nurturing future technical specialists and leaders for the global water sector.”

Professor Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director of the International Water Association (IWA), said: “We are delighted to be working with Cranfield University to provide these scholarships. A heightened pace of change has been seen in the global water sector over recent years as professionals and organisations attempt to address a host of challenges, such as climate change and population growth.”

"Now, at the dawn of the Golden Age of sanitation, IWA is trying to help the global community re-imagine how they do sanitation, by sharing knowledge – the innovations in science and practice – that underpin a ‘new-normal’.

“Emerging economies have a unique but fleeting opportunity to change the way they think about water and sanitation. How is water used – and reused? Should water systems and their accompanying infrastructure and services be centralised or decentralised, linear or circular? Although the potential to do things differently in these emerging areas exist, the window of opportunity to create a more sustainable pathway is relatively small (5-15 years) and hence quick action is needed if one is going to create a paradigm shift.

“IWA believes that innovators and institutions can, through a pragmatic alliance with IWA, develop nimble and affordable ways to ‘leapfrog’ the legacy of clunky, costly, centralised, top-down policies and infrastructure that burden much of the world. We believe that the Cranfield scholarships will create a new generation of water and sanitation practitioners that will shape the new-normal."

For more information about the awards, please visit the IWA Scholarship page.

Notes for editors

About the IWA

The International Water Association (IWA) is a network and an international global knowledge hub open to all water professionals and anyone committed to the future of water. With its legacy of over seventy years, it connects water professionals around the world to find solutions to global water challenges as part of a broader sustainability agenda.

As a non-profit organisation and with a membership in more than 140 countries, the IWA connects scientists with professionals and communities so that pioneering research offers sustainable solutions for a water-wise world. In addition, the association promotes and supports technological innovation and best practices through international frameworks and standards. For more information, please visit