First IDA Young Leaders tour completed

The International Desalination Association (IDA) Young Leaders Program (YLP) recently concluded its first global Educational Tour, reaching out to more than 2,000 potential future desalters in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the USA.

The Educational Tour consists of informative events designed to introduce university students in science and engineering and young professionals around the world to the world of desalination.

The inaugural series of events took place in Ecuador, Argentina, Singapore, Spain and the USA. Programs featured presentations and seminars delivered by regional IDA members, a selected senior professional active in the region, and regional members of the YLP.

“The outcome has been overwhelming,” said Guillaume Clairet, co-chairman of the YLP Committee.

The Educational Tour was launched in Singapore at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The inaugural event included a visit to the Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (SMTC) at NTU, a facility established to do fundamental and applied research in membranes for environment and water technology. Lisa Henthorne, a director and past president of IDA, delivered remarks, followed by a spotlight on SMTC activities by Professor Tony Fane and a tour of the SMTC facilities.

The first European event was held during the Asociación de Desalación y Reutilización del Agua Conference in Barcelona, Spain, where IDA director Antonio Casanas discussed the history of desalination as part of the presentation. Held in the center of Barcelona in close proximity to many universities, this leg of the tour offered ample opportunities to introduce desalination and the YLP to students attending university in the city.

The YLP conducted two events in Latin America, the first at the chemical engineering student conference held at the School of Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Loja in Ecuador. This was followed by an event in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Congreso Latinoamericano de Estudiantes de Ingeniería Industrial, which was attended by more than 1,200 students. IDA director Emilio Gabbrielli addressed the gathering.

In addition, a presentation about the YLP was held at the American Membrane Technology Association Conference in San Diego, California.

Plans are now underway for the 2011 global Educational Tour, which will also include one or more events in the Middle East/North Africa. The calendar will be posted on IDA’s website.