WERF Research Forum Will be Electronic this Year

For the past four years, the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) has held a two-day meeting for subscribers who want to review the progress of current wastewater and stormwater research and have input into future research. This year, in a move designed to meet the needs of utilities, government agencies and companies that are facing budget and travel constraints, WERF’s meeting will be “virtual.”

From 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. EST on Dec. 8, WERF will use an electronic format, developed by virtual event solutions provider Unisfair, to bring its 5th Annual Research Forum to desktops across the world. The virtual forum will feature audio, video, chat tools, and application sharing to provide real-time interaction in an online environment that mimics the experience of an actual conference or trade show.

“We’re excited about the potential to open these scientific and technical discussions to a much bigger group of stakeholders,” said WERF Executive Director Glenn Reinhardt. “We are really happy to present our information, and engage the wastewater and stormwater community, in a format that alleviates travel concerns.”

Attendees will enter a virtual conference center online, where they can choose from presentations and discussions on the latest findings in WERF research. Topics range from the emerging challenges in climate change, alternative energy production, and trace organics in wastewater and solids, to ongoing issues related to nutrient removal, asset management, and pathogen detection. All sessions will be archived and available to view for up to 30 days.

WERF will end the meeting with a virtual panel discussion, inviting participation from all WERF subscribers to explore their needs for future research. By using real-time polling and an interactive Q&A capability during this “future needs” panel, Reinhardt expects an intensive prioritization of vexing research challenges.

Participation will be free to all employees of WERF’s subscriber organizations. Non-subscribers and members of educational institutions can register, for a small fee, to participate in all presentations but the “future needs” panel.

Event sponsors, Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc.; CDM; Freese and Nichols; GHD; and Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., will have their own virtual trade show pavilion, where they will be able to share information on their products and services. Participants will have immediate access to electronic files of resource materials, and they can also network with WERF staff, board members and each other at a virtual networking lounge.

For more information, go to www.werf.org/forum09.

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