Gaining fresh perspectives

Five of our employees had a rewarding time at the International Water Association UK Young Water Professionals Conference this month. The conference was held at the University of South Wales Conference Centre in Treforest and provided an opportunity for learning about the sector. There were events ranging from technical and career development sessions to site visits and a gala/awards night plus the opportunity to network with leaders and early-career professionals from across the water industry.

Lilian Iheukwumere-Esotu, Clarrie Pike, Precious Ola and James Kennedy share their individual highlights.

“Initially, I was quite nervous about the idea of networking at conferences as this was my first one, but it was so lovely meeting other young professionals in the same position as me. It wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be, as everyone was welcoming and easy to talk to,” said Precious. “There were professional leaders there who had come to share their experiences, which included how they ended up where they are now and their ‘top tips’. The ‘Meet the leaders’ was probably my favourite event of the whole conference. It was very inspiring to hear about all their journeys and to come away with great advice like ‘prepare your bounce-backability’ or ‘take opportunities and don’t be afraid to fail, because even if you do fail, you can still learn from it’. Tony Koodie, our Global Process Director, was part of this panel, contributing observations from his career experiences.”

Collage of graduates enjoying the IWA Young Professionals conference

Clarrie also found the “Meet the leaders” session insightful. She said, “It was incredibly inspiring to hear from such a wide range of water industry leaders, learn more about their careers and receive water-sector-specific careers and goals advice.”

Lilian found the “Innovation in the water sector” session particularly enjoyable. The keynote speech was delivered by Neil Morrison, Group HR Director, Severn Trent. Lilian elaborates: “It was interesting to me because I currently work with the asset management team. I believe we need to be in tune with market realities and keep abreast of new ideas for sustainable water solutions that have the capacity to achieve the UK’s carbon emission targets. To achieve this amid significant challenges brought on by climate change means that innovation and being forward-thinking in aligning our product/service offerings to our clients is crucial.”

James found the conference a rewarding opportunity to meet people working across the sector in comparable positions to himself. He said, “An enjoyable couple of days networking with people that are also new to the industry. It was nice to see how similar some of our journeys to where we are now had been and to think about where our careers might end up in the future.”

Precious enjoyed the site visit to a Welsh Water wastewater treatment works. “This part of the conference was particularly interesting to me as I work on wastewater treatment sites in my day-to-day role and I was given the opportunity to see advanced anaerobic digestion, which I had never seen before,” she commented. “An aeration lane was under maintenance, so I was able to see and take photos, which I hadn’t experienced before. Seeing this provided me with a new learning experience, as it is one thing to read about this process but witnessing it in person gave me a deeper understanding.”

This conference provided a great opportunity for some of our young water professionals to meet both peers and industry leaders. They have brought the learning back to our business and it has given them new perspectives and fresh enthusiasm for their careers in the water industry.

About Binnies

At Binnies, we create new possibilities for humanity through our innovative approach to delivery. Backed by a culture that has stayed true since the company’s founding over 100 years ago, Binnies develops intelligent water and environmental solutions using a whole-life-cycle approach to deliver functional infrastructure and lasting environmental and social legacies. We strive to elevate the quality of life for our local communities today and for generations to come.

Binnies is an RSK group company and was formerly part of Black & Veatch.

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About the RSK group (RSK)

RSK is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services group made up of over 100 businesses. The group is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has an established presence in more than 40 countries around the world.

For over 30 years, RSK has been helping organisations realise their business goals efficiently, cost-effectively and with the minimum environmental and social impact. We deliver practical solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time. As a client-focused business, our services are constantly evolving to directly respond to or pre-empt global conditions and legislative drivers.

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Media contacts 

Binnies UK  

Angela Collins Tel: +44 (0)1737 856399 | Mobile: +44 (0)7391 639733 |