SPN 8: the real stuff!

Last week, we’ve successfully organised the 8th edition of the Sewer Processes and Networks conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on behalf of the IWA working group on Sewer Systems and Processes (SS&P WG). The conference took place on board of the SS Rotterdam, an excellent place to spend a few hours on the sun deck at the end of summer in Rotterdam.

SPN8 Group photo
SPN8 Group photo

Two of the QUICS promovenda, (Antonio Moreno Rodenas and Ambuj Sriwastava), one QUICS post-doc (Mathieu Lepot) and a number of QUICS supervisors (Simon Tait, Francois Clemens and Jeroen Langeveld) witnessed a conference with a lot of presentations about the real stuff: experimental work on sewer processes, either in labs or in the real world.  After a decade where modelling studies have been declared as the most convenient way to quickly publish the required amount of journal papers to obtain a PhD, the tide now seems to be turning towards obtaining real (new) knowledge on the most interesting part of integrated catchments: the sewer. Even though admitting studying sewer system dynamics may not be your best bet at your first date, there are a lot of very interesting research topics related to sewer processes, such as: climate change, CFD modelling, discharge patterns of pharmaceuticals, impacts of H2S on brains of sewer workers, spreading of antibiotic resistance via bacteria in sewer biofilms and sediments, monitoring and inspection techniques, asset management strategies, distributed temperature sensing, ground penetrating radar, aeration and H2S release at drop structures, methane formation, retrofitting urban areas with blue-green structures, gully pot cleaning and yes, also integrated approaches and the relevance of uncertainties in rain radar images for integrated catchment studies (thanks Antonio!).

In addition to the conference, we’ve organised a pre-conference workshop on ‘ lessons from failed research’ . All experienced researchers know that many research projects fail at least partly. However, it is very hard to find well documented results of failed research or negative results in literature. This is due to the ‘positive research bias’ of journals, that all want to publish positive results and implicitly train their reviewers and editors to reject less favourable outcomes. The workshop learned that there is a lot to learn from failed research and Richard Ashley and Francois Clemens now take the initiative to compose a review paper discussing how we can benefit from lessons from failed research. Those of you interested in sharing knowledge on this issue, please contact Richard via r.ashley@sheffield.ac.uk.

Jeroen Langeveld, TU Delft

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SPN 8: the real stuff!

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