Key Note Speakers

Walter Grayman


Walter Grayman is an independent consulting engineer in Oakland, California, with over 45 years of experience in the areas of water supply and water resources with emphasis on infrastructure, modelling, water quality, GIS and risk/security issues. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. degree from Carnegie Mellon University; all in civil engineering with a speciality in water resources. He is a registered professional engineer in Ohio and active at the national level in the American Society of Civil Engineers (Environmental and Water Resources Institute) and American Water Works Association. Dr. Grayman has over 150 publications including co-editor of the ASCE/EWRI book Toward a Sustainable Water Future: Visions for 2050, co-author of the AWWA book Modelling Water Quality in Drinking Water Distribution Systems, and contributing author for McGraw-Hill and Wiley Handbooks on Water Distribution Systems and Water Supply Systems Security. He was the 2013 ASCE Julian Hinds Award recipient and has received best paper awards from ASCE and AWWA for his work in modelling water quality in distribution systems and water storage tanks.

Simon Parsons

Simon Parsons

Simon Parsons, Director of Strategic Customer Service Planning – Scottish Water

Having joined Scottish Water in April 2012 as Chief Scientist, I am now Director of Strategic Customer Service Planning, leading teams in regulation, water and waste water services, strategic review, science and innovation. It’s my responsibility to ensure customer needs and expectations are built into our strategies and plans for the future, ensuring we continue to deliver the very best service for all. Before joining Scottish Water I spent 17 years working in academia and research. This invaluable background allows me to provide a different perspective, challenging text book assumptions, pushing teams to go that extra mile and taking Scottish Water to new heights. With a passion for protecting public health I want Scottish Water to make sure the highest standards are maintained. And it’s also our responsibility to protect Scotland’s precious environment. These are exciting times for Scottish Water as we work towards becoming even more resilient and I’m proud to be at the heart of the innovative work we’re doing across Scotland.

I have a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from Leicester University, I’m a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and I sit on the board of UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR).    I hold a visiting chair at Cranfield University and was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s prestigious Sustainable Water Award for 2014 for advancing the understanding of natural organic matter in water treatment and for the development of treatment processes to improve water quality and sustainability.

Maria da Conceição Cunha


Maria da Conceição Cunha is a Professor at the University of Coimbra, in Portugal. She holds a Diploma in Civil Engineering from the University of Coimbra (UC), an MSc in Hydraulics and Water Resources from the University of Lisbon, and a PhD in Natural Applied Sciences from the Catholic University of Louvain, in Belgium. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University (1997/98), an Invited Professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL (2002/09) and was awarded with a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) last May. Her main research focus is the application of optimisation techniques to the design and proactive risk management of natural and built environment systems. She has been the president of the Portuguese Water Resources Association (2014/16), and currently acts as coordinator of the PhD Program in Environmental Engineering at the UC, member of the National Water Council (advisory board of the government for water and environment policies), member of the Environmental Council of the Navigator Company (paper industry), and member of the Council of the Administration of the Hydrographic Central Region. She has coordinated or participated in 35 research projects funded by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation, the European Union and other institutions. Her research gave rise to around 300 publications on the planning and management of different water systems, including over 70 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and a book about groundwater management published by an international publisher.