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NSF Intelligent Water Systems Workshop

NSF Mid-scale Research Infrastructure
Workshop for Intelligent Water Systems


Day 1: Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Workshop Introduction

1:00 – 1:15 p.m. U.S. EDT
Z. Jason Ren, Acting Center Director and Associate Director for Research; Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University
Mamadou Diallo, Program Director, Environmental Engineering, National Science Foundation
Emmanuel Taylor, Energetics

Keynote: Research Needs and Activities on Intelligent Water Systems

1:15 – 1:35 p.m. EDT
John Sudduth, CIO, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Panel 1: Data Research Advances Water Industry

1:35 – 2:15 p.m. EDT

Christobel Ferguson, Chief Innovation Officer, Water Research Foundation
Barry Liner, Chief Technical Officer, The Water Environment Federation
Amro M. Farid, Associate Professor, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College
Kate Newhart, Engineering Associate, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District Denver
Pablo Calabuig, CEO, GoAigua US

Q&A Session for Keynote and Panel 1
2:15 – 2:35 p.m. EDT

Breakout Room Instruction
2:35 p.m. EDT
Emmanuel Taylor, Energetics

Break (please accept your breakout room request prior to breaking)
2:35 – 2:50 p.m. EDT

Breakout Session 1 

2:50 – 3:50 p.m. EDT

What questions/challenges in water benefit from a digital water infrastructure?
  • What are the functional requirements for digital infrastructure meant to serve water and wastewater utilities and innovators?
  • List/name the data management and analysis tools that are currently used in the water industry?
    • In what ways are these tools useful? What benefit do they bring?
    • What shortcomings exist in these tools?
    • What new features would improve the usefulness of these tools?
  • What are the knowledge gaps that exist in applying big data to water and wastewater utilities?
    • How can research collaborations be improved to address these knowledge gaps?
  • Describe the actions/steps that you see as necessary for building a digital water infrastructure that enables the better use of data and tools.

Break (participants will be returned to the main session)
3:50 – 4:00 p.m. EDT

Keynote: Australian Water Information Research and Development Alliance

4:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT
Rob Vertessy, Principal, Global Change Advisory
Rob Argent, General Manager Research to Operations, Bureau of Meteorology

Keynote Q&A
4:30 – 4:50 p.m. EDT

Day 1 Wrap Up 

4:50 – 5:00 p.m. EDT

Day 2: Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Update from Day 1 and Overview of Day 2 Activities

1:00 – 1:10 p.m. EDT
Emmanuel Taylor, Energetics

Day 1 Breakout Room Reports

1:10 – 1:45 p.m. EDT

Keynote: Mid-scale Research Infrastructure: An NSF Big Idea

1:45 – 2:00 p.m. EDT
Paul Lane, Program Director, ECCS/MsRI, NSF

Panel 2: The Structure of a Digital Water Infrastructure

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT

Ting Lu, Business Practice Leader, Clean Water Services
Jon Weers, Lead Technologist and Data Systems Architect, National Renewable Energy Lab
Branko Kerkez, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan
Junjie Zhu, Research Associate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University
Mike Gardner, Founder and CEO, Aqaix

Q&A Session for Keynote and Panel 2

Breakout Room Instruction
2:35 p.m. EDT
Emmanuel Taylor, Energetics

Break (please accept your breakout room join request prior to breaking)
3:00 – 3:15 p.m. EDT

Breakout Session 2 

3:15 – 4:15 p.m. EDT

How should an effort like this be managed to be sustainable during and after NSF support?
  • Describe the necessary characteristics (both physical and conceptual) of a digital water infrastructure that would meet the needs of the innovators and utilities. 
  • What steps/actions are necessary to build an infrastructure that will serve the research and utility communities? (note: We are not worried about the order of steps)
  • Describe the resources that you see as available for maintaining this infrastructure sustainably.
    • Describe potential funding and management models that you see as relevant/suitable for ensuring the long term operation of the infrastructure.
  • What do you believe is necessary to maintain the security and reliability of the infrastructure?
  • Describe the aspects of a high quality project management plan that you see as necessary for this infrastructure development effort.

Break (participants will be returned to the main session)
4:15 – 4:25 p.m. EDT

Breakout Room Organizer/Notetaker Reports

4:25 – 4:55 p.m. EDT

Day 2 Workshop Wrap Up

4:55 – 5:00 p.m. ED

Emmanuel Taylor, Energetics
Z. Jason Ren, Princeton University