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Singapore International Water Week 2021

October 2021
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Dr Shane A Snyder

Executive Interview with

Dr. Shane A. Snyder

2021 Clarke Prize Laureate

We had the honour to speak with Dr. Shane A. Snyder on his recent conferral. Awarded annually by the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) to thought leaders in water research, science, technology, or policy since 1993, the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize (or Clarke Prize in short) is recognised by the International Congress of Distinguished Awards as one of the most prestigious water awards in the world.

A professor at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, and Executive Director of NTU’s Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Dr. Shane also spoke about his research career, upcoming plans for NEWRI, as well as his association with the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) – going way back since the inaugural SIWW in 2008.

Related News Icon IN THIS ISSUE:
  • Executive Interview with Dr. Shane A. Snyder, 2021 Clarke Prize Laureate

  • SIWW news

  • Related news – PUB’s Carbon Zero Grand Challenge

Q: Congratulations on being conferred the 2021 Clarke Prize! As the 2021 laureate, you join a long list of past luminaries who have been recognised for their achievements in water science and technology. How do you feel about winning this prestigious award?

I am tremendously honoured to receive the 2021 Clarke Prize and to join the previous Laureates, all of whom I deeply respect. All the Clarke Prize Laureates are extremely well-known within the water science domains; thus, I am humbled to now join this distinguished group of leading experts in the field.

Q: Can you share with us more about your two-decade long research work in water and some of your most significant career highlights to-date?

My journey to work in the water domain really began as a child, where my family was impacted by groundwater contaminated by a landfill quite far away from our home. This water contamination influenced my parent’s decision to sell a 200-year old home that was in our family for two generations and to relocate.

During my undergraduate study in Chemistry, I began to work on a research project involving abatement of lead leaching from certain types of allows used in water meters. As I decided which direction to go for my PhD, I learned about Professor John Giesy from Michigan State University (MSU) and he became my mentor.

While my initial research did focus on the Great Lakes region, around 1996 I was contacted by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) regarding the discovery of hermaphroditic fish in Lake Mead, Nevada USA. Quickly, SNWA funded a large project to study the occurrence, fate, and impact of endocrine disruptors on fish in Lake Mead as well as treatability using ozone.

The work at Lake Mead inspired my interest in water reuse, as the Las Vegas region relies on wastewater effluent returned to Lake Mead (the source of drinking water for the region) to remain sustainable. From this point forward, I never looked back, I continue to study water reuse systems around the world. I was hired as one of the first research staff of SNWA in early 2000, where I learned a tremendous amount about how public water agencies operate and the challenges of dealing with citizen concerns over water quality.

Over the next decade, I helped SNWA build a strong R&D team team ultimately with the strong support of the SNWA General Manager, Ms. Patricia Mulroy. During my entire professional career, Pat Mulroy will always be one of the people I hold high as a brilliant and compassionate leader. In 2010, I sadly resigned my position at SNWA to accept an academic position, but I continued my research in water reuse and contaminant removal during various treatment processes.

Q: We were told that your love affair with Singapore started during the inaugural SIWW in 2008! Care to tell us how you eventually landed onto the leadership position within NTU’s Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI)?

I still remember the letter I received about the inaugural SIWW in 2008 along with a leadership forum. At that point in time, I had never been to Singapore or even Southeast Asia. I was very pleased to find out that SNWA’s leader, Patricia Mulroy, also had been invited to SIWW. Thus, she organised a group of us to attend SIWW and learn more about Singapore’s inspiration and aspiration to become a leading country in the world in the areas of water technology and management. During the 2008 SIWW, I became increasingly impressed by the depth and ingenuity of Singapore PUB, the local Universities, and the diversity of private sector firms located in Singapore.

I came to learn of the Visiting Professor Program (VPP) and was very pleased to be offered a VPP position at the National University of Singapore in 2011, a position I continued until the end of 2017. In February 2018, I became a full-tenured Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) and to also lead the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) as the Executive Director of the institute. I was further blessed to be granted a permanent residency (PR) status in Singapore and I continue to enjoy the wonderful research and social environment of Singapore.

Q: Singapore positions itself as the global hydrohub for water technology and solutions. Having lived and worked here for the last few years, what do you think makes the water ecosystem in Singapore work?

It is hard to believe that I first came to Singapore over 13 years ago, and I have lived in Singapore full-time since the summer of 2017. Singapore has created a unique and highly successful ecosystem for water technology development and deployment.

First, Singapore has a long history of recognising and addressing the delicate nature of water sustainability on a rather small geography with very high urban density. Singapore is unique in their investments into modern technologies and management approaches. This is especially true for an academic like me, whereby there are many opportunities to conduct research and to commercialise the resulting technologies.

Beyond Singapore itself, the country is in a strong position to collaborate with numerous private and public sector entities within SEA. While SEA continues to grow rapidly, there are critical water sustainability needs in the region where Singapore is already positioned in a leadership position. I very much appreciate the strong support from the Singapore government as well as the private sector, which has empowered NEWRI to meet and exceed all the key performance indicators (KPIs) set forward in our core institute funding.




International exhibitors participating in SIWW2022 Water Expo are looking for distributors and resellers to represent their products in Southeast Asia.

If you are an existing distributor/reseller in the region, and looking to expand your portfolio of water solutions and products, register your interest to participate in the SIWW2022 Water Expo Distributor Programme now! Simply email your company name, business contact details, and company portfolio/website to Geoffrey_STEPHENS@pub.gov.sg

Accredited distributor/reseller will receive the unique opportunity to meet with exhibitors from around the world in Singapore. Your business meetings and engagements at the event will also be facilitated.

More details will be released in early 2022.


Solutions & Technology
Solutions & Technology
Innovation and solutions in urban water management, for municipal and industrial users
Global Event
Global Event, Regional Footprint
A global water event with strong relevance and application to Asia
Business & Networking
Business & Networking
Gathering of industry, utilities and governments for business collaboration and partnerships
Urban Sustainability
Urban Sustainability
Co-located with CleanEnviro Summit to advance sustainability agenda for built urban environment
Thought Leadership
Thought Leadership
Insights on latest trends, solutions and case studies in various thematic areas

SIWW2022 is the place-to-be if you wish to build brand exposure, and establish new leads and business opportunities.

Contact Ms. Noelle Toh at noelletoh@experiaevents.com /
Ms. Lynette Tey at lynettetey@experiaevents.com for more details on exhibit, sponsorship and advertising opportunities at SIWW2022 now!

Carbon Zero

Singapore’s National Water Agency, PUB would like to invite you to participate in their crowdsourcing challenge, “Carbon Zero Grand Challenge”. The goal of the challenge is to remove carbon emissions arising from water treatment and production.

The competition will run in two phases and award a total prize pool of S$6.5 million (~US$4.8 million). Potential solutions include carbon capture, utilization, and storage as well as carbon removal.

Think you’re up for the challenge? Learn more about what’s required and sign up to participate by visiting the challenge page here. If you have any questions, please email PUB_openinnovation@pub.gov.sg.


EXHIBITOR ADVISORY NOTE - Warning against dealings with questionable practices

As we gear up for SIWW2022, we would like to urge exhibitors to exercise caution when dealing with companies that have asked you to update or correct your data with fair directories and subsequently claimed fees.

We want to assure our visitors, delegates and exhibitors that we take data protection seriously. To avoid possible unwarranted and/or unnecessary financial commitments, please view this advisory note and other important points for you to take note of here.

In the event that you are being approached, please forward a copy of the communication to info@siww.com.sg.

Organizers & Sponsors