Meet Jeanne Fernandez, our YWPDK profile for May 2016. Jeanne works with hydraulic modelling at Frederiksberg Forsyning. Jeanne also held a presentation about “District Meetered Areas in Frederiksberg: redesigning the water distribution network for leakage management” at the 2nd YWPDK Conference in March this year.
What is your current work title and what is your background/degree?
I am a Water Engineer at Frederiksberg Forsyning, the utility for Frederiksberg municipality. I work with water supply modelling using Aquis and with drainage modelling in MIKE Urban. This matches my educational background in Environmental Engineering. I have MSc degrees from both DTU and the Ecole Centrale Nantes in France.
What is your motivation for working with water?
I have always been sensitive to environmental issues. During my studies at DTU, I realized that the topics dealing with water were those that interested me most and I mainly took courses related to urban water management. It is very motivating to work with something that directly impacts the environment, people, and their daily lives, worldwide. Moreover, one can expect that opportunities to work in the water sector will grow or at least remain steady, as every industry, community and specie needs water.
What are your main interests within this field?
I have a broad range of interests. They span from very technical aspects such as water systems modelling, climate change adaptation, water quality monitoring, and GIS technologies, to softer issues such as integrated water management, governance, and communication across organizations. I am particularly interested in questions regarding water privatization and interdisciplinary collaboration.
What was your motivation for becoming a member of YWPDK and how did you hear about the network?
After reading about YWPDK online, I decided to become a member to join a large network of young professionals in the water sector. It is a good way to share experiences and to support one another in our careers. By taking part in the YWPDK events, I also hope to stay updated about the latest developments in the sector. Finally, I see this as a chance to get to know the mother organization IWA and to, for instance, participate in the planning for the IWA 2020 conference, together with junior and senior experts.
What are your thoughts on the challenges that we, as young water professionals, face in the coming years?
Water issues are complex not only from a technical point of view, but also because of the way they involve people across borders and across disciplines. Today, I think that young water professionals need to be able to communicate with specialists from different cultural backgrounds and from different fields. We have to deal with many stakeholders: the public sector, water utilities, private companies, etc. The challenge is to best use each other’s knowledge, to understand the various points of view and to collaborate effectively on solving complicated environmental problems.