Sommariva secures International Desalination Association presidency

Dr Corrado Sommariva, managing director of ILF Consultants Middle East, was elected president of the International Desalination Association on 5 September 2011, the first day of the IDA's World Congress in Perth, Australia.

Dr Corrado Sommariva

Dr Corrado Sommariva

Sommariva, who is based in Abu Dhabi and heads the worldwide desalination activities of the main ILF company, was a surprise winner of the election among the board members of IDA, coming through by only two votes from the previous first vice-president, Michel Canet of Veolia.

Fady Juez, managing director of Metito in the UAE, was elected first vice-president, and Dr Emilio Gabrielli, vice-president business development for Toray Membrane USA Inc in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, becomes second vice-president.

Dr Sommariva, who campaigned hard for his election, has experience in both thermal and reverse-osmosis desalination and also wastewater systems. He is a past-president of the European Desalination Society and chairman of the World Health Organisation's committee for the establishment of safe drinking water from desalination,

He is an honorary professor at Genoa and L'Aquila universities in Italy, where he holds regular courses on desalination and water-reuse. He has also published over 50 papers on desalination leading-edge research and economics, as well as a book on desalination management and economics.

Earlier on the first day of the IDA conference, the opening ceremony broke new ground with a videoed address from Sir Richard Branson followed by a live question-and-answer session by phone with the entrepreneur from the British Virgin Islands. He was unable to use the promised live video link due to the fire which destroyed his Necker Island home on 22 August 2011.

More than 800 delegates from around the world are attending the industry's principal desalination event, which lasts until 9 September 2011. This story was updated on 14 September 2011

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