Epilogue

Five ESRs together Five ESRs together

Somehow 3 years have passed and the adventure is almost finished. I have many new friends; I have travelled to other continents; I have met dozens of fantastic people; I have learnt and researched like my life depended on it (in a sense it did). It has been utterly fantastic. We even have a new honorific TreatRec member! - Welcome Sofia, and congratulations to the father!

The TreatRec final conference was a success. We managed to bring quite a group of experts and, as it is representative of the TreatRec project, there was a nice balance between industry and academia among the presenters (someone even asked me for my presentation, yay!). The fellows did their best to condense 3 years of research into 20 minutes. We have really come a long way since that first meeting in 2015. Many thanks to Mira for making this possible.

To me, the best part was the end, because it didn´t feel like one. I want to think I have made a lifelong group of friends. I am convinced we will see each other, and possibly work together again. After all, let us not forget that Jan-Evert promised some beers…

So, with permission from the fellows, here is a non-official update (the names of the cities are not provided to maintain the privacy of the fellows):

Luca will enjoy the beautiful Spanish summer for a little bit longer. His research has showed us the intricacies of using tertiary treatment to remove micropollutants. He will never stop in his quest to provide humanity of clean water, obtained from the most cost-efficient technology.

Yaroslav is now living with his girlfriend in Spain while he finishes his thesis. He improves his knowledge of programming in R that he gained during the project. His research will be a stepping stone for the technology that will allow the water regulations in the future.

Sara keeps going in research! Her grant has been further extended, also in Spain. She will still be working on resource recovery, particularly the combination of struvite precipitation and the annamox process. Her research may shape how we implement some of the technologies that make the transition from wastewater treatment to resource recovery possible.

Pau G is busy publishing in Water Research like it´s easy, and fathering his new-born daughter. He also lives in Spain, with his wife, who is a prominent professional in the pharmacological industry. He will soon finish his PhD, which contribution will underpin key decision making in effluent pharmaceuticals. He dreams of becoming a civil servant in a hydrographic catchment institution, which I am sure he will accomplish.

And finally, I am working as a consultant in Atkins (England) which decided to take me in! The range of projects in consultancy is wide, but I still am in the water sector, doing modelling related work and bits and pieces of data science thanks to all the Python coding I learnt during my PhD. I hope my research on resilience will help the water sector adopt this new paradigm of risk assessment faster and better.

I will be forever grateful to this project for all the doors it has opened to me. Thanks to all the TreatRec members. And special thanks to Miyako, our very special project manager, who has also become a mother during the project, and is the reason this blog has been such a success.

Best wishes to everybody,
Pau Juan Garcia