In this interview Lydia Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia looks back at her first year as the Director of Watershare and shares the opportunities she sees for joint research on Corona.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I have an engineering background, with expertise in computational modelling and hydro informatics across a wide range of subjects, from water Supply and Distribution Systems to Circular Economy and Artificial Intelligence techniques for Water Systems. I started my career as a Lecturer at the Technical University of Athens (1990-2003) before becoming a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK. Over the course of many years, I have developed an extensive track record and expertise in international grants and projects.
How do you see your role within Watershare?
I see myself in an interactive role, as a moderator within a network of water experts. By listening to members’ needs and interests and bringing them in contact with each other and with external organizations, I aim to create a network of experts that together can achieve more.
What are you proud of?
For me, the top event in the past year was the organization of the webinar on COVID and the impact on the water sector (March 30, 2020), which attracted over 1000 people registering from across the world.
What do you see as the biggest challenges for Waterhare in 2020-2021?
In the coming year our members will still face major challenges related to the pandemic impact. We need to interact, learn and help each other. As Watershare we will join forces to offer effective support in lab resources, share relevant methodologies and collaborate in joint projects.
What are your ambitions with Watershare?
My ambitions could be summarized in three words: Expansion in members, excellence in the technologies supported by us and relevancy for our members.
Which research are you performing on Corona and which opportunities do you see for Watershare and its members?
With the research of Prof. Gertjan Medema and his team, we are leading in detection and analysis of the virus in sewage. Sewage surveillance can be pivotal in assessing the degree of infection on the population. Based on this research, Prof. Dragan Savic and I have been involved, together with Gertjan and his team in a winning bid for the hackathon EUvsVirus (April 2020). This work is leading to new projects and initiatives. We are connecting with our members to assess the issues they are facing related to the pandemic and involve them, as much as possible in new and emerging project opportunities.