SEWPROF ITN meets in Oslo

Training day participants

Training day participants

Key challenges in the sampling and analysis was the focus of the second SEWPROF training event that took place in Oslo on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 September 2013. The aim of the event was to provide the early stage researchers with an understanding of the different factors that may influence the quality of their raw data and how important this aspect is with regards wastewater analysis.

The first day focused on the different aspects around wastewater sampling and sample handling, including practical and theoretical approaches. Day 2 started with a site visit to VEAS wastewater treatment works where the researchers were told about the history of the plant, how wastewater is collected and transported to the plant and how it is treated before discharge into the Oslofjord.

Students visiting VEAS

Students visiting VEAS

For some early stage researchers, this was their first visit to a treatment plant and an insight into the scale of operation when treating the wastewater from a large city. Following lunch the researchers gave presentations of their individual projects and discussed the interactions and possible synergies with other partners.

Marie Mardal, SEWPROF’s Early Stage Career Researcher and ESRs’ representative to SEWPROF Supervisory Board said: “ESRs found a better understanding of what our respective projects were about and what possible collaborations we could make within the network, particularly for our secondments. There were plenty of opportunities to discuss with and learn from researchers who are more experienced within this field of research. We were given feedback from researchers working with complementary angles on the project, making us think of our research from new perspectives and keeping us within the frames of the project.”

SEWPROF ITN team

SEWPROF ITN team

SEWPROF ITN meets for the first time in the city of Bath

DiscussionsThe first SEWPROF training event took place in Bath on Monday 22 – Wednesday 24 April 2013. The three day event, entitled ‘Human Health and the Environment’, provided an excellent opportunity for early stage career researchers to interact and to engage with key themes within the context of the network.

The first day focused on the ‘Urban Water Cycle’. The key challenges including fate of micro-pollutants (illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals) in the aqueous environment, during wastewater treatment and in drinking water were discussed. During the second day themed ‘Hazardous Substances and Human Health’ human exposure and risks from environmental and food toxicants were evaluated. The third day entitled ‘New Synthetic Drugs of Abuse’ provided an overview of the patterns of use of new psychoactive drugs in the UK and Europe.

The participants also attended the skills training sessions ‘Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities: Creative and Critical Thinking’ and team building activities, which focused on the development and prioritisation of key ideas and subsequent presentation.

The whole SEWPROF team