BIWA Award history

B-IWA Research Award 2019

Awarded to: Michael Chys
In: 2019
Affiliation: Ghent University, Campus Kortrijk


The Reseach Award recognizes an outstanding research paper in the domain of water authored by a lead author from a Belgian research organsisation. 

Chys, M., Audenaert, W., Stapel, H., Ried, A., Wieland, A., Weemaes, M., Van Langenhove, H., Nopens, I., Demeestere, K. and Van Hulle, S.   Techno-economic assesment of surrogate-based real-time control and monitoring of secondary effluent ozonation at pilot scale.  Chemical Engineering Journal, 352, p 431-440.  



B-IWA Water Development Collaboration Award 2019

Awarded to: Rudy Devinck & Winnie Owiti - Kitanda VZW
In: 2019
Affiliation: Kitanda VZW (8380 Dudzele), in partnership with Ebenezer Life (40101 Ahero, Kenya)


This award is reserved for a succesful collaboration between a Belgian Partner (Academic, Industry or Government) and a Partner in a Developing Country, in the area of water.

The Ebenezer Life Centre is taking care of more than 400 orphans and widows. It contains five communities spread over three locations.  The Centre provides in the basic needs, education and health needs. Children and women infected with HIV get medical care and emotional support.  This project was supported financially and logistically by means of technical expertise by Aquafin NV.

B-IWA Water Career Achievement Award 2019

Awarded to: Alain Bernard
In: 2019


The Water Career Achievement Award represents B-IWA’s most important award.  It recognizes an individual with an exceptional and sustained track record in the area of water.

Water has been a constant  point of attention in the carrier of Alain Bernard,  recently retired as CEO of the world renown DEME Group.  DEME’s core business is the construction of ports and harbors and the maintenance of its access channels and rivers. Water transport is a sustainable mode of  moving  essential goods  and commodities around the world.   DEME is also involved in many projects aimed at safeguarding the populations in coastal area’s and providing new economic opportunities  for them. Be it sea water, river water or surface water, Alain Bernard stood at the cradle of numerous water related initiatives. We highlight 3 domains:

1. Water as a resource

·     Founder of the environmental companies SILT and SOILS (now gathered into DEC). The activities of these companies focus in essence on water protection and compliance with the objectives of the Water Framework Directive.

·       Founder of the water treatment company Purazur providing water treatment services to the industry.

·      Co-founder and Board member of the Blue Cluster, a Flemish organization dedicated to developing and promoting economic activities that are linked to the sea. The Blue Cluster tackles the challenges of climate change, marine pollution, the energy issue, sustainable food and maritime accessibility.

·      Creator of a business unit focusing on collection of plastic in open water (rivers, oceans).  

·      Creator of DEME4Life foundation under the corporate social responsible umbrella with projects in Ghana and India focusing on healthy drinking water supply and improvement of hygiene in general.

.    Member of the BoD of Aquafin / now Chair of Aquafin.  

2. Water as a source of energy

·       Creation of DEME-affiliated companies in relation to offshore wind energy.

·       Creation of DEME-affiliated companies in relation to tidal energy.  

·       Development of floating photovoltaic cells


 3. Water as source of food

.       Creation of Edulis,  a company dealing with off-shore aquaculture of mussels in windfarm parks.


We think that Alain Bernard has been a real giant in the world of water works, and moreover that he   through the links of his company and his collaborators with (B-)IWA, has been instrumental to make our planet a better ‘blue planet’ .


Please join us in congratulating Alain with this achievement!