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28 June 2011 | PR 11/80

World leading centre opens its doors for 40th anniversary

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Painting by Rod Shaw

Loughborough University’s world-renowned Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) is opening its doors to the public on Tuesday 5 July as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations.

Members of the local community are invited to view exhibitions and attend a series of workshops and presentations giving an insight into WEDC’s work, including a hands-on session with the Centre’s large collection of hand pumps.

The open day runs from 8.45am to 5.30pm at the John Pickford Building in the University’s West Park.

The Centre is one of the world's leading education and research institutes for developing knowledge and capacity in water and sanitation for low- and middle-income countries.

Part of the University’s Department of Civil and Building Engineering, WEDC conducts applied research orientated to real-life problem solving in water and sanitation, and offers postgraduate training programmes both at Loughborough and by distance-learning.

WEDC also conducts in-service capacity building programmes and disseminates knowledge through publications, conferences and electronic media for policy makers, practitioners and researchers in the water and sanitation sector.

As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, WEDC will host its 35th annual conference - usually held in Africa and Asia - on campus from 6-8 July. Three hundred delegates from around the globe will meet to share knowledge, good practices and develop capacity in the water sanitation and hygiene sectors.

During a celebratory dinner, the University will honour the outstanding achievements and contributions of five of WEDC’s former students; Quratul-Ain Bakhteari, Sottie Bomukama, Dermot Carty, Hamad Masoud Hamad and Melvin Tebbutt will be presented with the University’s first ever Distinguished Alumnus Awards.

A full programme of events is available online at www.wedcconference.co.uk/openday.html, Please sign up for specific sessions, or call 01509 222633 for more information.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1.  In 2011 WEDC celebrates its 40th Anniversary as a world-leading education and research institute developing knowledge and capacity in the water and sanitation sectors for low and middle income countries. Its contribution is evidenced through alumni in key positions in various institutions around the world and was recognised by the award of Loughborough’s first Queens Anniversary prize in 1995.

Recipients of the first ever Distinguished Alumnus Awards are as follows:

  • Quratul-Ain Bakhteari for her vision and dedication to multi-cultural peace and development;
  • Sottie Bomukama for his instrumental work reforming and transforming the water sector in Uganda;
  • Dermot Carty for his outstanding contribution to the development of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people;
  • Hamad Masoud Hamad for outstanding commitment and achievements in engineering and infrastructure;
  • Melvin Tebbutt for his outstanding practical contribution and commitment to humanitarian relief.

2.  Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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