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Research Group “Water Infrastructure and Digitalization” presented itself

Two research assistants from the “Water Infrastructure and Digitization” research group at the Institute for Water and Energy Management at Hof University of Applied Sciences (iwe), Dr. Julia Frank and Viktoriya Tarasyuk, Ph.D, together with Endowed Professor and Research Group Leader Günter Müller-Czygan, participated in two major events from May 2-4, 2022, which play an important role in the implementation of digitization in the water sector.

Presented their work: Viktoriya Tarasyuk and Prof. Müller-Czygan (right); link in picture: Henning Oeltze from HS Magdeburg-Stendal; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

In the course of climate change, the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, especially hydrometeorological extreme events such as heavy rain, floods and droughts, are increasing in many regions of Germany. This highlights the need for practical research to improve the management of water extremes. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) therefore launched its “Water Extreme Events (WaX)” funding measure with a kick-off event in Bonn on May 2-3, 2022. With a total grant of around 25 million euros, 12 WaX collaborative projects involving 81 institutions from science, industry and practice are researching various approaches to dealing with hydrological extremes.

Mitigating the effects of extreme weather events

Projects are funded to reduce the negative impacts of droughts, heavy rains, and floods through improved management strategies and prevent adaptation measures. Innovative monitoring, forecasting and communication approaches, adapted water infrastructure, and operational and risk management strategies will be developed to cope with opposing hydrological extremes. The WaX kick-off meeting included discussion sections on projects with research priorities from the following topics:

  • Digital tools for monitoring, analysis, prediction, and communication
  • Risk management of hydrological extremes
  • Urban extreme weather events

The event not only provided an opportunity to learn about and reflect on the basic ideas of the various projects, but also to identify further focal points for project implementation and synergies in a lively discussion.”

Prof. Günter Müller-Czygan

In this context, Professor Müller-Czygan presented the main ideas of the project “InSchuKa4.0 – Combined Infrastructure and Environmental Protection through AI-based Sewer Network Management”, on which his research group “Water Infrastructure and Digitalization” is working together with the consortium consisting of Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, HST Systemtechnik GmbH and Pegasys Gesellschaft für Automation und Datensysteme from Meschede, Nivus GmbH from Eppingen and the Zweckverband JenaWasser. All projects were also exhibited on posters to further promote exchange. There was a broad exchange of views on general water issues, integrated water resources management, environmental protection, simulation methods and tools. The WaX funding measure is part of the federal program “Water: N – Research and Innovation for Sustainability”, which is part of the BMBF strategy “Research for Sustainability (FONA)”.

Reports on the state of digital water management

The second Z-WAN event took place on May 4, 2022, at the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen, Germany, and devoted an entire day to digitalization in the water industry. The exhibition, paired with conference presentations, was held for the first time and organized by the Digital Water Management Competence Center with the aim of presenting and discussing the state of digital water management solutions

The well-known Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen provided a historic backdrop and suitable venue for another high-profile water management event; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

Participants enjoyed an interesting program with presentations, discussion panels on various topics, more than 30 exhibitors from the industry, and a lively panel discussion. The research group “Water Infrastructure and Digitalization” presented itself with its own booth in the exhibitor hall and was able to establish many contacts. In addition, Professor Müller-Czygan gave a pitch presentation on the topic of “Success factors for the successful implementation of digitization projects in the water industry”

Dr. Julia Frank at the booth of the Hof Research Group in Essen; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

Mr. Müller-Czygan and Dr. Frank took over the leadership and moderation of the workshop “Successfully digitizing processes step by step”, in which a lively exchange about the implementation of digitization solutions in companies took place.

Dr. Julia Frank

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