Christopher Thomas

Artificial intelligence provides the opportunity to democratize complexity by exploiting correlation rather than causation which enables companies to become increasingly sophisticated in optimizing their operations.

Chris is the Head of Innovation and Enterprise. He is experienced in working with digital innovators to bring their solutions to the water industry. His work spans across the lifecycle of new ventures, having supported teams seeking investment, piloting and developing new products and implementing mature solutions at an enterprise scale.

Chris previously worked at Bristol Water as the Head of Business Improvement and Innovation. He developed the company’s innovation framework and as part of this founded a business incubator to support startups bringing their new solutions to the industry. He was also responsible for transformation activities and set up a number of new digital capabilities around automation and reporting as well as leading organisational and process changes across asset management, operations and the back office.

Prior to Bristol Water, Chris worked for Baringa Partners supporting a range of Utility clients across the UK with operating model improvement projects.

Oliver Grievson

In order for the water industry to face its challenges of net zero and achieving a health environment the use of Digital Tools are absolutely essential. Whether this is Data and information management at its most basic or artificial intelligence at the most complex doesn’t really matter. However, this is going to take a lot to achieve and an honesty from the industry to realize that we must get the basics right and build from there. Once the basics are right and the data that we rely upon in a state that we can believe it we can build the Digital Tools that will give us a situational awareness which will help us to manage more efficiently.

Oliver Grievson has over 25 yearOliver Grievson has more than 25 years of experience in the wastewater industry, specialising in wastewater measurement and digital transformation. Among many other roles, he is currently Chair of the IWA Digital Water Programme and a Fellow of IWA.

As a process engineer, instrumentation specialist and a Digital Water expert he looks forward to a day where we make effective use of the data and information that the water industry collects.

Dr. David B. Steffelbauer

The success of artificial intelligence in almost all areas of life creates countless opportunities to solve today’s water challenges. And this is exactly what the Blue Planet Berlin Water dialogues focus on.

David B. Steffelbauer is the leader of the Hydroinformatics group at the Urban Systems Department at Kompetenzzetrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH (KWB) in Germany. His research is located in the interdisciplinary field of Hydroinformatics, where his research contributes to solving urgent water-related problems by developing innovative methods and algorithms that utilize multi-sensor data and help to increase the total efficiency of urban water systems. His main research interests lie in understanding (i) how urban water systems behave under failures and (ii) how to prevent such failures in advance.

He studied physics at TU Graz and specialized during his studies in theoretical and computational physics with a thesis in the field of quantum many-body theory and completed a Ph.D. in Urban Water Management at TU Graz on model-based leak localization which was awarded one of the best doctoral theses in Austria in 2018. After that, he spent two years as a Marie Curie Fellow at TU Delft and Leiden University’s Institute of Advanced Computer Science in the Netherlands. Before he came to Berlin, he has been Associate Professor for Hydroinformatics at NTNU in Trondheim (Norway).

Jennifer Porto

Climate change is going to reshape our lives – I’m excited to see how AI can help us preserve and best use our most precious natural resource.

Born in Iowa, moderator Jennifer Porto has spent more than 15 years on stages across Germany, including seven years as a soloist at the Oper Leipzig.

In addition to her role as the arts coordinator for NYU Berlin, Jennifer works as a moderator, helping guide audiences (and occasionally panel members!) through programs that run the gamut from politics to youth engagement to the music business. Her special focus is the energy transition.

Dr. Antonio Moreno-Rodenas

Machine learning and in particular deep learning are powerful enabling technologies for the water sector. Both in the water monitoring and modeling fields, we observe a leap in capabilities. For instance, machine learning assists in the acceleration of physically-based models, breaching the gap between operational models and our best representation of the underlying physics. Also, computer vision and remote sensing powered by deep-learning solutions are unlocking the observation of new hydro-environmental processes in the field. These technologies lead to a better understanding of our water systems and a better capacity to actively manage our infrastructure and ecosystems.

Dr. Antonio Moreno-Rodenas is a researcher in environmental hydraulics. He graduated as a civil engineer (hydraulics and energy) at the Polytechnical University of Valencia. In 2019 he defended his Ph.D. at the Delft University of Technology, where he conducted research on the quantification of uncertainties in large-scale water quality models within a Marie Sklodowska-Curie EU program. Since then, he works at the hydraulic engineering unit of Deltares, researching new monitoring-modeling methods for the water industry. This involves the use of computer vision, remote sensing, and machine learning techniques to investigate hydraulic-environmental processes at laboratory and field scales. Currently, he is the coordinator of the Deltares’ Data science program (enabling technologies).

Felix Naser

Know the condition of your sewers with the press of a button. We provide a service utilizing artificial intelligence to quickly & objectively report defects in your sewer inspection footage

In August 2022 Felix Naser joined Pallon’s leadership team after got acquired. Since 2011 he has studied, conducted research, and lead international teams in academic, startup and corporate settings helping to co-create intelligent software & future mobility solutions. He is an MIT grad, Forbes 30 under 30 lister, co-founded self-driving vehicles startup Venti Technologies & and worked for the BMW Group as a global software project lead.

Stefan Tidow

I believe that smart, AI-based green tech concepts and applications will contribute significantly to improving living and environmental conditions, achieving climate and water conservation goals and ensuring economic success.

Stefan Tidow, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection © Bundesregierung/Steffen Kugler

Stefan Tidow was born in Hanover in 1967. He studied political science, economics and pedagogy at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.

Mr. Tidow has been working in politics in Berlin since the year 2000. He first worked as a research assistant to Christian Sterzing, European policy spokesperson of the Greens parliamentary group, and then as head of office of the federal chair of the Greens, Claudia Roth. In 2003, he changed to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, where he worked in the Minister’s Office and the Division “Environment and Economy”.

From 2008 to 2011, Stefan Tidow worked in the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group, first as research coordinator in the managing executive committee and then as head of office of the floor leader of the Greens, Jürgen Trittin.

From 2012 to 2016, Stefan Tidow headed the Representation of the Land Rhineland-Palatinate to the Federation and the European Union as Deputy of the Delegate of the Land Rhineland-Palatinate. From December 2016 to December 2021, he was State Secretary at the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Urban Mobility and Climate Action.

With the swearing-in of the new German Federal Government in December 2021, Stefan Tidow was appointed State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection.

Navaneethan Santhanam

My vision for this year’s topic: Artificial Intelligence – Reshaping the Water Industry ist to help utilities improve their decision-making using AI (Augmented Intelligence).

Navaneethan Santhanam is interested in enabling water utilities to make better decisions using Artificial Intelligence for improved network performance and customer experience. His background is in brain sciences, analytics, and software engineering. Santhanam has previously worked at Freshworks and Microsoft. He has a Master’s degree in Psychology and Brain Sciences from Johns Hopkins University.

Marten Hutten

AI will be the next big step for the future of the water industry, from live monitoring to asset management to testing scenarios, there is still much potential for improvement and machine learning and AI techniques will become more important as the challenges increase.

Astronomer by training and drinking water Data Scientist by day, I focus on using data to analyze and improve our processes and actions, to encourage the use of data for decision making and to enlighten colleagues on the possibilities that data provide. I am always looking for new insights, to innovate and move forward in what can be a challenging environment. My work at Vitens so far has touched on smart metering, customer segmentation, water quality, and calculating and monitoring of asset energy usage. In my spare time I like to write and perform music, both by voice and guitar.

Dr. Aisha Mamade

The fundamental purpose of the water service has not changed. What is changing is our ability to make informed decisions.

Aisha has been actively working with water utilities for the past 10 years in the implementation of asset management plans and water losses reduction and energy efficiency improvement initiatives in Portugal, Brazil and the US. She holds a PhD in civil engineering and has been working with the International Water Association since 2013, as a member of IWA Strategic asset management Specialist Group.