Dutch and US students of the Berson UV-team won the 15th edition of the Wetskills Water Challenge that took place in Milwaukee, USA from 12 - 26 June.

Twenty US, Canadian and Dutch students and young professionals competed to develop an innovative concept for five business case studies to create solutions for water issues.

The winning team 'Berson Boys' presented a solution to use UV to disinfect treated waste water so it can be re-used. The business case had been forwarded by Dutch UV disinfection supplier Berson UV.

dws-wetskills-usa-2015-berson-winners2-350px  Winning team Berson boys

First time in USA
Milwaukee is the first American city to host Wetskills, which has taken place in 12 countries around the world so far. The Dutch organizers selected Milwaukee on the strength of its water technology research and industries, represented by The Water Council, which helped host the competition.

The Wetskills water challenge took place during the annual Water Summit in Milwaukee. The event started off with the Brain Hurricane on 17 June, an interactive brainstorming event where contestants will learn about the case studies, meet the authors, and hear about the water challenges and opportunities in Milwaukee from Wisconsin water experts.

Find new solutions
During the following days the students worked at the Global Water Center and the University of Wisconsin School of Freshwater Sciences, where they consulted water experts and companies to compare views on global water innovations, share best practices, and find new solutions on several topics, including:
● metal recovery from sewage and transforming wastewater into a business;
● the use of UV to disinfect re-use of water, energy and nutrients;
● and raising water quality awareness among greenhouse entrepreneurs.

dws-wetskills-usa-2015-all-part-350pxAll participants from three nationalities, USA, Canada and the Netherlands

Three nationalities
The team assigned to the business case by startup company Cadens LLC had to bring small-scale hydropower to unconventional sites with custom-designed and 3D-printed turbines.

The team included three nationalities: Katie Hall of University of Wisconsin (middle on top photo), Greg Giberson from Toronto (not on photo) and Evelien Brand (left) and Tijmen Groot (right) from the Netherlands.

Cadens LLC is still developing its product, and recruited the students to improve their system before it is tested and marketed around the country.

New tool for UV disinfection
The Berson Boys developed a tool for governments that consider a transition towards modern waste water treatment plants, with recovery of energy and nutrient and re-use of water. The tool helps to make the transition smooth and financially responsible.

Stakeholders are not always clear when they want an integrated water, energy and nutrients recovery facilities. Therefore, Berson UV, as a specialist in UV water disinfection systems, was interested to develop a clear and concise decision structure that facilitates municipalities and governments to decide on waste water treatment investments with particular attention to UV systems.

About Global Water Center
Milwaukee is among the world’s most significant hubs for water research, education, technology development and industry. The Global Water Center is a water research and business accelerator center in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood. It houses water-related research facilities for universities, existing water-related companies and accelerator space for new, emerging water-related companies.

Since 2010, about 200 water graduate students and young water professionals from more than 40 international universities and organizations have participated Wetskills Water Challenges, held in Canada, Mozambique, Romania, the Netherlands, Egypt, South Africa, Oman, Indonesia, Morocco and China.

dws-wetskills-usa-2015-logo-350pxjpgAbout Wetskills Water Challenge
The Wetskills Water Challenge is a two-week pressure-cooker programme for students and young professionals from all over the world with a passion for water.

They meet in a country and work in transdisciplinary and transcultural teams on water-related topics.

The main challenge: develop as a team your own innovative and out-of-the-box solution for water challenges in a changing world.

Since 2010, Wetskills attracted more than 250 participants from more than 50 international universities and organisations in one of the fifteen Wetskills events in China, Indonesia, Oman, Israel, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa (2x), Mozambique, Romania (2x), The Netherlands (2x), United States and Canada.

Read also on this website
WISA2014: Concept of business wise training wins second Wetskills Water Challenge in South Africa, 30 May 2014
Concept Reclaim agriculture wins the first Wetskills Water Challenge in Israel, 13 December 2013

More information
Johan Oost 

Global Water Centre
Milwaukee, USA
+1 414 988 8752