The first cohort of IWA-Cranfield Scholarship winners have commenced their journey to become the next generation of water scientists and engineers. 

Awarded scholarships by the International Water Association and Cranfield, the students will develop their technical understanding and business skills to become leaders in the worldwide fight to improve the resilience and sustainability of water supply and sanitation systems and protect the natural environment.

Selected from more than 500 high quality applicants, 14 full-fee scholarships were awarded by the University across three MSc courses: Water & Wastewater Engineering, Advanced Water Management and Water & Sanitation for Development.

Safe water and sanitation for all

Sharriff Irfan Ulla is one of the recipients of the scholarships and is studying on the Advanced Water Management MSc. He said: “It is my desire to take the principle of ‘water should be an essential right, not an entity of privilege’ forward by making safe water and sanitation available at household level and creating independent water management as standard practice. In a developing country like India, managing water is one of the most significant challenges. I believe that a holistic approach to water management practices will ensure quality water availability for future generations.”

Increasing the skills base

Professor Paul Jeffrey, Director of the Water theme 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.”

Nasreen Nasar is also one of the recipients of the scholarships. She said: “The Cranfield-IWA excellence scholarship provides an ideal platform to foster and equip future scientists and engineers to take on the current and future challenges in the water and wastewater sector. This resonated very well with my career aspiration, which led me to apply for it. By studying the MSc on Water and Wastewater Engineering at Cranfield University while getting involved with the IWA, I’m looking to be a part of a dynamic group of scientists and engineers who are at the forefront of redefining the concept and functionality of water and wastewater treatment plants in the context of a circular economy. It is truly an honour to be selected for this highly esteemed scholarship.”

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. The work on the Nano Membrane Toilet, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is just one example.

You can find out more about the next funded scholarships here.  

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

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.