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Keynote Speakers

Monday, June 7, 2021 | 11:45 a.m. EST

Opening Plenary

Norma Jean MatteiNorma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE
Professor, University of New Orleans

Title: The Mississippi River Watershed: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Her presentation will feature three projects, of many, that will be of interest to EWRI Congress attendees.

Dr. Mattei earned her Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Tulane University and has been a renowned researcher and educator in the areas of structures and construction materials. She is also an expert in sustainable engineering and construction and large watershed management initiatives. Dr. Mattei serves as one of two civilian civil engineer Commissioners on the Mississippi River Commission (MRC).

She recently completed her year as 2017 President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and locally she is still active on the Executive Committee of the ASCE New Orleans' Chapter of the Structural Engineering Institute. Norma Jean also has served in the past on several National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) committees and task forces, most recently serving as chair of the Board-level NCEES Education Committee and is an Emeritus Member of NCEES.

She was named by the Governor of Louisiana to Louisiana's licensing board for professional engineers, LAPELS, serving as Chairman of the LAPELS Board in 2011-12. Dr. Mattei is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Louisiana.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 | 12:30 p.m. EST

Plenary Speaker

Cameron Davis

Cameron Davis, J.D.
Vice President, GEI

Title: A Journey Through the Great Lakes & Great Engineering

"The Great Lakes comprise 20 percent of the Earth’s freshwater. So it’s only natural that their protection has driven policy in the US and Canada, which will continue to drive innovations in environmental and water resource engineering."

Cameron Davis is a vice president at GEI Consultants, where he helps the company with coastal resilience, green infrastructure, climate adaptation, and water resources. Additionally, in 2018, he was elected as commissioner at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago after what was one the most unusual races in Illinois history. He ran as a write‐in candidate, beating the previous statewide write‐in record set by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944.

From 2009 until 2017, Cam was President Obama’s Great Lakes “czar,” coordinating the work of 11 federal departments and serving as the Administration’s liaison to Capitol Hill in investing more than $2 billion under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. He also led the federal effort to block Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes through the Chicago River.

Cam has dedicated his entire career to the public’s interest in water, having served as a public interest Clean Water Act attorney, professor at the University of Michigan Law School, and President & CEO of the Chicago‐based Alliance for the Great Lakes. But his proudest achievement is having started his career as a volunteer.

He lives across the street from Lake Michigan with his wife Dr. Katelyn Varhely, a child psychologist, and two children.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 | 12:30 p.m. EST

Plenary Speaker

John Pomeroy

John Pomeroy, Ph.D., FRGS, FRSC
Director, Global Water Futures Programme

Title: Global Water Futures – a transdisciplinary water research program providing solutions to water threats in an era of global change

"GWF aims to place Canada as a global leader in water science for cold regions and address the strategic needs of the Canadian economy in adapting to change and managing the risks of uncertain water futures and extreme events in a time of global change.

The university-led, federally funded research program was designed strategically in 2016 in consultation with stakeholders to achieve three main goals: 1) to deliver new capability for providing disaster warning; 2) to diagnose change and predict water futures; and 3) to develop new models, tools, and approaches to manage water-related risks. GWF’s research program is now fully developed, partnerships are functional, competitive funding allocations to projects and core teams are complete, an unprecedented team of research personnel is active, research infrastructure for GWF is established, and research is fully under way.  

This talk will show how GWF has improved the scientific-underpinning and, through new code and computer technologies, is delivering the fundamental modelling and prediction systems that can support disaster warning from floods, droughts, and water quality degradation episodes.  It will note the scientific progress made in diagnosing the varied dimensions of changing water futures, how decision support models were built to predict and interpret this change and how information was mobilized to over 450 users to help develop solutions to managing water-related risk in a wide variety of sectors, communities and regions."

Dr. John Pomeroy is Director of the Global Water Futures Programme – the largest university-led freshwater research project in the world. At the University of Saskatchewan, he is the Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change, Distinguished Professor of Geography, Director of the Centre for Hydrology, and Director of the Coldwater Laboratory, Canmore, AB.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Geophysical Union, and the Royal Geographical Society and serves as Institute Professor of the Biogeoscience Institute of the University of Calgary and Adjunct Professor of the University of Waterloo and of Wilfrid Laurier University. For the World Climate Research Programme, Pomeroy leads the International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology project.

Pomeroy was the 2019 recipient of the Miroslaw Romanowski Medal for environmental science from the Royal Society of Canada, and the 2017 recipient of the J Tuzo Wilson Medal for geophysics from the Canadian Geophysical Union.

He has served as the founder and President of the International Commission on Snow and Ice Hydrology, Chair of the International Decade for Predictions in Ungauged Basins, President of the Canadian Geophysical Union, the first Professor of Hydrology in Wales as Professor at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Research Scientist with Environment Canada and the USDA Forest Service and a NATO Science Fellow at the University of East Anglia, England.

His primary research interests are in cold regions hydrology and water quality with an emphasis on snow redistribution and ablation processes, and the development of novel observational and modelling techniques. Dr. Pomeroy has authored over 350 research articles and reports and several books that have been cited over 18,000 times.

Thursday, June 10, 2021 | 12:30 p.m. EST

Plenary Speaker

Adel AbouJaoude

Adel AbouJaoudé, Ph.D., C.Eng, EUR ING, P.E., M.ASCE
Director of Operations, Jacobs (Saudi Arabia)

Title:  Water in the Middle East & Central Asia – Challenges and Solutions

"Over the millennia, ancient civilizations managed to adapt to the severe weather prevailing in the Middle East and Central Asia. However, this fragile balance was often disturbed by climatic events and, under certain instances, led to their decline.

The demographic explosion witnessed in these regions, accompanied by accelerated urbanization, increased water demand, and effects from climate change, continue to threaten the long-term sustainability of these mega cities.

This presentation describes lessons learned from the long history of water management in the Middle East and Central Asia and presents a number of visionary planned or active projects aimed at holistic water management. The selected case studies show how in this region, water is linked to three elements - Land, Air and Energy - and demonstrates how integrated solutions bring innovations that can be replicated in less water-stressed regions.

The “OneWater” approach is introduced as a framework for respecting how water connects us, and affects us all, enabling us to shape a more connected and sustainable world."

Dr. Adel AbouJaoudé is the Saudi Arabia Director of Operations for Jacobs and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, a Master’s degree in Water Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Geophysics and Environment and a Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics.

In 34 years of professional activity, Adel’s career spanned from applied research in water engineering, mathematical modeling and software development, to diversified experience in the design and management of major water engineering and infrastructure projects: dams, ports, water supply, surface and groundwater resources, sewerage, stormwater, roads and expressways.

During the last 12 years, Dr. AbouJaoudé managed the design of projects of construction cost in excess of USD 12 billion in more than 15 counties in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa.

Dr. AbouJaoudé has also academic experience with over 26 years in teaching Groundwater Hydraulics and Geographical Information Systems for Graduate and Undergraduate Engineering Students in Lebanon, USA and Italy. He also provides training for professional engineers. He published 18 papers in scientific international journals, and acts as advisor for research students on Ph.D. programs.

Dr. AbouJaoudé sits on the Water Supply, Treatment and Distribution Engineering Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is a former member of the Scientific Committee of the French National Research Agency (ANR) for the Technology of the Environment. In 2015, he was awarded the title Diplomate Water Resources Engineer by the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE).

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