Meet Francisco Laurito Torres, our YWPDK profile for April 2016. Francisco is a civil engineer working at DHI MIKE software department, responible for technical support in collection systems, water distribution modelling and urban flood modelling.
What is your current work title and what is your background/degree?
I am a civil engineer specialized in urban water engineering (DTU) working at DHI MIKE software department. I am responsible for technical support in collection system, water distribution modelling and urban flood modelling at DHI Denmark. Before moving to Denmark I worked for the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers, in charge of the operation and optimization of urban water networks, NRW reduction and optimizing water treatment plants in the rural Pacific Coast region.
What is your motivation for working with water?
All my life I have been fascinated by water, since I was a kid I remember my favorite games always involved water, swimming in a river on a hot summer day or defying the waves on a surfboard, water has always been part of my happy memories. Water is cool, powerful and delightful, but it´s also a driving force that pushes our inventions and innovation when its presence is threatened or is lacking.
What are your main interests within this field?
My main interest and focus is the optimization of the way we handle and manage our water resources in urbanized areas. Probably because I have seen how in Latin America, more and more people are moving to the cities, posing a larger demand on the quantity and quality of the public services. Increasing the efficiency of our water distribution systems, reducing the amount of water losses in these systems along with prompting a better and more sustainable way to handle served waters and identifying and reducing the risk of urban floods in cities are major challenges faced in our time.
Providing the right tools and technologies to understand and face these challenges is my biggest interest and motivation to pursue a career within the water sector.
What was your motivation for becoming a member of YWPDK and how did you hear about the network?
Being an international professional in a foreign country can make you feel alienated. I felt a need for being part of a larger network of professionals with people of my own age, to share experiences and keep updated on what other professionals are doing in their own niches.
I heard about the network through a good friend from DTU, Gudny Tryggvadottir, who was actually starting this initiative with some colleagues of hers.
What are your thoughts on the challenges that we, as young water professionals, face in the coming years?
We will face a tougher scenario than our more experienced colleagues did in the past. The effects of climate change are already tangible in matters such as water scarcity and urban floods, in addition urban populations are rapidly increasing, putting more pressure on the limited resources available. I think in that these challenges will demand far more innovative and sophisticated solutions with large amounts of collaboration between professionals. I think that a network such as YWPDK can play a determining role in supplying means of communication and collaboration amongst professionals and different offices.