IWA Young Leadership Award

Introducing the IWA Young Leadership Award

The IWA Young Leadership Award is granted to an exceptional water professional aged 35 or younger, showcasing notable achievements in their career. The recipient has demonstrated outstanding leadership potential and the ability to play a large and influential role in the water industry in the future.

Eligible candidates can be IWA members or non-members from academia, science or practice (utilities, consultancy, technology providers, government, NGOs and civil society, or international organisations).

The award winner will be recognised for the excellence of their contribution based on the judging criteria set out below. All applications are made on a confidential basis.

Assessment Criteria and Procedure

Vision 鈥 The nominee will have worked towards contributing to the water sector and sustainable development, setting goals that are beyond him/herself.

Initiative 鈥 The nominee will have taken initiative and responsibility to contribute to sustainable water management and practices by developing new ideas and or opening new possibilities and opportunities

Motivation 鈥 The nominee will have developed (voluntary) work/projects that motivated (a broad group of) professionals within or beyond the water sector and across disciplines to act towards achieving a common goal and positions the individual as a role model among peers and the wider community.

Impact in water sector 鈥 The nominee has made impact through their work shaping water (related) professionals, practices, solutions.

Based on these criteria, a review panel will make a preliminary assessment of all submissions and develop a shortlist of nominees. Shortlisted candidates will proceed to the second stage, where they will be requested to provide more information about their career paths. This information will then be assessed by a judging panel formed by high-level IWA members,聽comprising experts from industry, university, utilities and stakeholders in the water and wastewater sector from various regions.

Award ceremony

The winner of the 2024 IWA Young Leadership Award will receive a trophy and certificate honouring their contributions. The Award will be presented at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Toronto, Canada (11-15 August 2024), in front of a global audience of water leaders. Additionally, the winner will be introduced to various important groups and committees within IWA.

Furthermore, the recipient will serve as the IWA Young Leadership Ambassador for a two-year term, representing both IWA and its community of young water professionals. The role is dedicated to inspiring leadership and encouraging greater involvement of young individuals in the field and within the Association.


Who can submit a nomination?

Nominators must be active IWA members. Self-nominations and nominations submitted by family members of the nominee will not be accepted.

The deadline is over. May I still submit my nomination?

No, it won’t be possible to submit nominations after the deadline. If the nomination period is closed, it means that the judging process has started and we are unable to consider late submissions.

Is more than one person able nominate me for the award?

Candidates may be nominated by multiple members, however only one nomination may be considered.

Can I withdraw or edit my nomination?

Yes. Should you wish to withdraw or edit the nomination after it has been submitted, please send your request to awards@iwahq.org

What language can nominations be made in?

Unfortunately we are only able to consider nominations made in English. Please do not submit your nomination in another language as these nominations will not be considered.

Past Awardees

2022 IWA Young Leadership Award

Dr. C茅line Vaneeckhaute is associate professor at Universit茅 Laval in Quebec, Canada and director of the BioEngine Research Team on Green Process Engineering and Biorefineries, composed of over 15 full-time researchers under her principal supervision. She holds the Canada Research Chair in resource recovery and bioproducts engineering (Tier II), a highly prestigious title awarded by the Government of Canada to exceptional young researchers, acknowledged by their peers as emerging international leaders in their field.

Dr. Vaneeckhaute鈥檚 innovative work on water resource recovery facilities has led to the achievement of numerous prestigious research awards such as the Prix du Qu茅bec Rel猫ve Scientifique (the highest distinction for scientists awarded by the government of Quebec), the Prix Honoris Genius Rel猫ve (the highest distinction for engineers awarded by the Quebec Order of Engineers) and the Flemish Water Technology Award (emitted by the Flemish Network on Water Technologies for highly innovative research). She is steering board member of the 老澳门六合彩开奖记录 Resource Recovery from Water Cluster and of the Phosphorus Modelling Group at the Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance, as well as President of the Waste and Energy Management Division of the Food Production Topical Team at the Canadian Space Agency, to name a few. Prior to her occupation as a Professor, she was assistant director for the biomethanation processes at Quebec City. She has also been active as an independent consultant in the field. Dr. Vaneeckhaute holds a double PhD degree in water engineering at Universit茅 Laval and applied bioscience engineering at Ghent University (Belgium).

“Optimal management of global water resources is one of the most crucial challenges of the 21st century. Beyond technological innovations, we all have the duty to raise awareness, work on our own improvements and those of our community, and by all potential means provide support to those people, organisms and areas that are most vulnerable. Working on water sustainability is working on the sustainability of all living things on this planet. What can be more motivating?”

2020 IWA Young Leadership Award

Renowned scientist and engineer Dr Siddhartha Roy has won the IWA Young Leadership Award (2020/22). Dr Roy acted as an industry ambassador for the IWA and the water sector in general for a two-year term. Currently Dr Roy works as an environmental engineer and postdoctoral research scientist at Virginia Tech, USA. He has conducted a range of research, primarily focused on disadvantaged communities. His most significant work in recent years has centred on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where he helped to uncover high levels of waterborne lead poisoning.

Dr. Roy鈥檚 work in raising awareness of the Flint water crisis, as co-leader of the Flint Water Study team, ultimately led to President Obama declaring a public health emergency. He has been featured on a range of leading media outlets, including the BBC, New York Times and Chicago Tribune, and has also countered misleading and bad science around Flint鈥檚 water quality in the past several years. Dr. Roy also participated in the PBS documentary 鈥楶oisoned Water鈥. He has been recognised unanimously by the IWA Young Leadership Award Committee, who noted how strong the field of nominees had been, as well as congratulating Dr. Roy. Read more about his nomination. During a plenary session at the Digital World Water Congress (), Dr Roy commented:聽鈥淔undamentally, this prize recognises scientific and humanitarian work by the Virginia Tech US Water Study Team with underserved communities like Flint, Michigan and others, to uncover unsafe water and environmental injustice.鈥

2018 IWA Young Leadership Award

Jacob Kwasi Amengor is the winner of the IWA Young Leadership Award 2018. As Assistant Water Quality Officer at Ghana Water, Jacob Amengor combines academic, professional and personal achievements to emerge as the most exemplary role model of his generation, a promising individual motivated to empower young water professionals within and beyond Africa.

Professionally he is an Assistant Water Quality Assurance Officer, where he is responsible for the water quality operations at Kpeve Headworks.聽In 2015, Jacob brought a group of young people together to start the Water Satellite Programme with the objective of sensitizing people on best practices in water and sanitation. As a result of his continuous passion in the Water Sector, he was selected as a Young Water Fellow by the Young Water Solutions and he has been equipped with both technical skills and funding to help accelerate access to clean water and sanitation in rural communities with an entrepreneurial approach.

Jacob served as the first General Secretary of the Water and Sanitation Students鈥 Association of Ghana. He has also been instrumental in forming the IWA Young Water Professional Chapter in Ghana and voluntarily serves as its Co-Chair. Jacob volunteers as a content creator for Siro 360 (media website), where he writes articles on environmental sustainability. He loves to mentor, inspire and motivate young people to find solutions to challenges existing in the water sector because he believes that the successful realization of the Sustainable Development Goals depends on the abilities of young people.

Jacob has secured a land as a first step of achieving his vision of setting up a water research and management institute that will focus on carrying out research studies, training young professionals on varied areas within the water sector, organizing professional development courses and engaging industries and policy makers to implement the outcomes of research studies for the sustainable development of the water and sanitation sector in Africa. Ultimately, Jacob wants to see an Africa, where access to clean water and sanitation is no longer a reserve for the privileged few; rather, a human right realised for all regardless of place, class and status.

IWA Young Professionals Awardees (1999-2016)

2016 Rianna Gonzales, Trinidad and Tobago

2014听鈻┞Inga Jacobs, South Africa

2012听鈻┞Norhayati Binti Abdullah, Malaysia

2010听鈻┞Rita Henderson, Australia

2008听Enrique Cabrera, Spain

2006听鈻┞How Yong Ng, Singapore

2004听鈻┞Till Merkel, Germany

2002听鈻┞Daniel Deere, Australia

2001听鈻┞Lin Wang, China

2000听鈻┞Matthias Maier, Germany

1999听鈻┞Urs von Gutten, Switzerland


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