The Water Council recently awarded the 2nd annual “Water Warrior of the Year” award to Dr Marcia Silva from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, United States (U.S.) during a special ceremony at the 11th annual Water Leaders Summit at the Harley-Davidson Museum®.
The “Water Warrior of the Year” award was created by The Water Council to celebrate and acknowledge the successes of individuals in Wisconsin’s water industry who are making significant achievements while supporting the advancement of students in STEAM education (Science – Technology – Engineering – Arts – Math). Each year the honour is awarded to a member of The Water Council at the Summit.
“Dr Silva embodies what it means to be a Water Warrior as, without fail, when we call upon her to help a student or aspiring entrepreneur her standard response is ‘I can do that,’” stated Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “Our water technology cluster is very fortunate to have someone such as Dr Silva to lead and, more importantly, inspire our next generation of water leaders.”
With over 20 years of industrial and academic experience and mentorship of over 70 students to date, Dr Silva exemplifies what it means to be a Water Warrior. Among her many notable accomplishments within the water industry, her laboratory, located at the Global Water Center, is well funded by local industries for the development of novel filtration materials for the removal of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals from water and development of a non-invasive sensor technology for detection of biofilm.
In addition, her laboratory has received a large Great Lakes Protection Fund grant for the deployment of a novel technology developed by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers in Dr Marcia Silva’s group, which is a key tool to assist with the goal of nonpoint source pollution control. The filtration material will be deployed in farms in Michigan and Wisconsin. This new technology is an effective method of phosphorus removal and is on the way to becoming a revolutionary approach for pollution control in agriculture.
“I am pleased to receive the “Water Warrior of the Year” award, which recognises my commitment to assist the water industry and, more importantly, my efforts to support STEAM education. During 15 years at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I have seen the growth and development of our university and city, along with the development of The Water Council, we have all the ingredients to be an international water hub,” Dr Silva said. “In my mind, what really ties everything together is collaboration. ‘Collaboration’ has been the key word I use to introduce our UWM Water Technology Accelerator (WaTA) to visitors and research partners.”
Dr Silva currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and is an active member of The Water Council.
“We are extremely pleased that Dr Silva’s research, mentoring and service contributions are being recognised by The Water Council,” said Mark Mone, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “Her “Water Warrior of the Year” status is fitting because she does everything so well – leading-edge basic and applied research, teaching, and service – all of which are immediately applicable and appreciated on campus and in the community. We could not be more proud.”
The award was presented to Dr Silva by Rich Meeusen, chairman and CEO of Badger Meter, and Meghan Jensen, vice president of marketing and communications for The Water Council. The inaugural “Water Warrior of the Year” recipient was Dennis Webb, president of Sage Water, and retired executive of Badger Meter. Dennis has been an active mentor for students interested in STEAM careers and serves as an advisor for The Water Council’s BREW programme that has trained 34 start-ups to date since 2013.
Earlier today, The Water Council, Neroli Salon & Spa, The Institute of Beauty and Wellness and Aveda Institute Madison announced three students who received scholarships through the Future Water Leaders Fund, a fund created by The Water Council with the first contribution from We Energies Foundation in late 2017 to support students in Wisconsin’s water technology industry.