College of Science, Engineering & Technology

Unisa brings the Water World Cup to Africa

Unisa's College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) has officially been given the opportunity to host the 8th International Water Association (IWA) Natural Organic Matter (NOM) conference in 2021.

According to Prof Bhekie Mamba, Executive Director of CSET: "This is massive and prestigious for Unisa and it confirms that CSET is becoming established as a significant contributor internationally in water research. The fact that Unisa was the only institution from Africa represented at this IWA conference and the recognition we have now been afforded shows that the university's investment into CSET is already paying off. This is just the beginning; the best years are still yet to come."

Prof Thabo Nkambule (from the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit [iNanoWS]), Dr Linxi Chen (Unisa collaborator from Horiba Scientific), Sikelelwa Ndiweni (Unisa PhD student) and Prof Bhekie Mamba (Executive Dean, CSET)

According to Mamba, this is how he and Prof Thabo Nkambule (a professor from the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit [iNanoWS]) sealed the deal at the seventh IWA Specialist Conference on Natural Organic Matter in Water currently taking place in Japan. "We played SA Tourism's one-minute video to bring people to South Africa, then played a one-minute video of the Birchwood Hotel and conference facilities. We showcased Unisa's Pretoria and Florida campuses and showed off our Nobel Laurates and notable Alumni. A seven-minute presentation sealed the deal. They were mesmerized," he said. The delegates attending the conference were already congratulating the Unisa team which also included two PhD students, Sikelelwa Ndiweni and Welldone Moyo.

Natural organic matter in water influences ecosystems in the natural water environment and water quality in urban water supply systems. NOM's abundance and characteristics are influenced by the local ecosystems and climate. Thus, future global warming may alter the abundance and characteristics of NOM in water sources. The IWA specialist conferences on NOM in water has been held six times in the past, and provided opportunities for scientists, engineers and practitioners to acquire the latest knowledge and technical development on NOM science. Since IWA has provided support through its endorsement of the past IWA NOM conferences, those events attracted many researchers from around the world. The successful organisation of the past IWA NOM conferences has extended IWA's international reputation as an academic and professional organisation. The seventh NOM specialist conference will provide an outstanding opportunity for researchers from around the world to present their latest research outcomes and to discuss future trends on NOM research.


Publish date: 2019/10/14