The University of Macau (UM) held a talk titled ‘Curiosity Driven Research as Foundation for New Resource Recovery Processes’ as part of the University Lecture Series today (6 November). Mark van Loosdrecht, a renowned Dutch environmental engineering expert, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Biotechnology in the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, was the speaker. During the talk, he discussed environmental engineering issues from the perspectives of water resources management, technological innovation in water treatment, basic research, and the training of professionals.
Speaking at the event, Zhou Wanhuan, associate dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology and head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said that water treatment plays a crucial role in developing cutting-edge science. It is not only related to our daily lives and environmental health but also plays a key role in addressing climate change and managing water resources. Therefore, water treatment is not just a technology but also an interdisciplinary field of research that provides a solid foundation for the continuous development of cutting-edge science and the sustainable development of society.
During the talk, Prof Van Loosdrecht pointed out that innovation is essential to the development of a green and sustainable society and a fully integrated water sector. However, innovation has been slow, partly due to the water sector itself, whose basic structure and design have remained unchanged for some 3,000 years. To stimulate innovation in the water sector, it is necessary to promote curiosity-driven research embedded in an engineering context. According to Prof Van Loosdrecht, science and engineering are the key to innovation in the field of water resources. However, innovation can only be achieved when different approaches are respected and effective communication is maintained over time.
The Q&A and discussion session was moderated by Hao Tianwei, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Prof Van Loosdrecht actively discussed and exchanged ideas with the participants.