Our Leaders

Officers for the current term (October 2017 to October 2019) are:

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Mr. Miguel Angel Sanz, France


/ miguel-angel.sanz@suez.com

Miguel Angel Sanz is currently Director of Strategic Development for Treatment Infrastructure Division of SUEZ.

He has 34 years of professional experience in desalination as well as in the drinking water and wastewater fields. Joining Degrémont group in 1983, in Spain, he has been in several positions as Technical and Project Director in Spain, Desalination Manager and Deputy Technical Director for Degrémont group, Business Development Director in Degrémont Iberia and Director of Development and Innovation of Degrémont based in France. As of January 1, 2015, Degrémont and all companies of the group became SUEZ.

Working with SUEZ group, he has a stake in promoting innovation in the field of membrane desalination, and he has taken part in the design, build or operation of more than 40 brackish or seawater desalination plants worldwide.

Mr. Sanz has been a member of the IDA Board of Directors since 2009. In previous terms he served as 2nd Vice President and served on several committees including the Technical Programs as Co-Chair. He has been session co-chair in four IDA World Congresses and was a member of the Technical Committee of the 2013 IDA World Congress in Tianjin, China.

He promoted the organization of the first IDA conference in Algeria in 2010; was chairman the first IDA conference in Morocco, held in Casablanca in 2012; and was co-chairman of the first IDA conference in Latin America, held in Rio de Janeiro in March 2015. In the last two World Water Forums, he has participated or co-organized the Desalination and Reuse sessions in Desalination representing IDA. To summarize, Mr. Sanz has participated as contributor, organizer, speaker or chairman in over 25 events organized or supported by IDA in the last years. He has published over 50 papers on desalination and water treatment.

Moreover, he has contributed to promote and create some desalination and reuse organizations such as the Latin American Desalination and Reuse Association (ALADyR). He is also active among IDA’s affiliate organizations, being for eight years a member of the Board of Directors of the European Desalination Society (EDS) and the Spanish Desalination and Reuse Association AEDyR, where he has been Vice President for four years. He is also a member of other desalination or water associations: CaribDA, ALADyR, IWA and WEF, and member of the Editorial Board of W.D+R.

Mr. Sanz received his Industrial Engineer Master degree in 1981 from Bilbao High Technical School of Engineers.

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Mr. Rachid Ghamraoui, UAE

1st Vice President

/ rghamraoui@besix.ae

Rachid Ghamraoui is Vice President of BESIX Middle East.

BESIX Sanotec was created by the group to reflect the importance of the environment in the overall strategy of the company and also in order to diversify its activities. BESIX Sanotec’s expertise as a water engineering company combined with important synergies and close cooperation with SIX CONSTRUCT, the civil arm of the group, allows BESIX to be positioned as one of the few companies that can offer a ‘’one stop-one shop‘’ solution to the water market covering all project aspects ranging from data acquisition to expert advice, process design, civil works, MEICA (Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, Controls, Automation) works, and operation & maintenance.

BESIX has a proven track record in the water sector that spans more than four decades. SIX CONSTRUCT has been involved in the construction of numerous desalination and potable water plants in the GCC (UAE, Qatar, Oman) and Africa (Algeria, Cameroun, Morocco). In addition, the total cumulative capacity of wastewater treatment plants built by BESIX Sanotec since its inception has reached approximately 2,000,000 m3/day.

Mr. Ghamraoui’s journey to Vice President, ME, of BESIX Sanotec started in 1989 when he joined BESIX fresh from completing a Master’s Degree in Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Engineering at the Brussels Polytechnic University as Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) engineer for the esteemed European Council in Brussels.

Mr. Ghamraoui earned a Master’s Degree in Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Engineering at the Brussels Polytechnic University.

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Mr. Youqing Li, China

2nd Vice President

/ ropv001@ropv.com.cn

Mr. Li founded ROPV and has been the Chief Executive Officer of ROPV since 1999. He brings more than 35 years of experience in expanding composite materials applications for water industry. He completed many state projects with many published professional papers in China. He also obtains many design patents.

In addition to his role as the CEO of ROPV, he serves on the board of Membrane Industry Association (MIAC) as a deputy secretary general. He also serves on China Desalination and Reuse Association as a vice president, and on National Technical Committee on Separation Membrane of Standardization Administration of China as a Committee member.

Mr. Li holds a Bachelor’s degree in Composite Material from East China University of Science and Technology.

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Mr. Carlos Cosín, Spain


/ carlos.cosin@almarwater.com

Carlos Cosín Fernández (Madrid, Spain) is currently the CEO of Almar Water Solutions. He is responsible for strategic management of the company, whose main investor is Abdul Latif Jameel, to implement and promote its activity in the water sector.

Before that, he worked at Abengoa between 2005 and 2016, ending his career as Chairman and CEO of Abengoa Water, the water subsidiary of the group. Mr. Cosín also spent seven years (1997-2004) at Veolia Water Systems and before that he held several high-level positions, most notably the ownership of a private company that developed and designed heat exchangers. Mr. Cosín has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

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Dr. Mike Dixon, Canada


/ Mike.Dixon@albertawatersmart.com

Dr. Mike Dixon is a desalination and water treatment technology professional with 15 years experience working with membrane and thermal technologies in Australia, North America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Asia. Mike has worked across the entire value chain with technology manufacturers, water utilities, oil and gas companies, pharmaceutical companies and research hubs.

Currently as Chief Technology Officer of WaterNEXT (a water business accelerator based in Calgary, Canada), Mike’s responsibilities include technology assessment and intake assessment. Mike is also a Senior Technical Advisor, and on the founding team, of MIT start-up Sandymount Technologies.

Prior to WaterSMART, Mike was Applications Development Manager for NanoH2O, a global provider of reverse osmosis membranes that leveraged UCLA developed nanotechnology to lower the cost of desalination with over 300 installations in 40+ countries in the three years from market launch. LG Chem acquired NanoH2O in 2014. Mike was also R&D Engineer for the 300,000m3/day Adelaide Desalination Plant.

Mike has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Adelaide and business training from Stanford University. Mike is experienced with the development of intellectual property and the commercialization of new technologies. He has more than 60 publications in international journals and is an author of several books and book chapters. He has been an Editor of the International Desalination Association Journal and a reviewer for the Journal of Membrane Science, Desalination and Water Research. Mike was National President of the Young Water Professionals for the Australian Water Association and in 2012 won the prestigious International Desalination Association Fellowship Award.

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Dr. Corrado Sommariva, UAE


/ corrado.sommariva@ilf.com

Dr. Sommariva is Managing Director of ILF Consulting Engineers Middle East and the head of the company’s worldwide desalination practice. He has served in various roles in all the major desalination developments in the Middle East. Prior to joining ILF, Dr. Sommariva worked for nine years with Mott MacDonald where led the desalination and water treatment group as Director of generation Middle East. In his early career, Dr Sommariva worked in Ansaldo Energia and Italimpianti in various roles.

President of IDA for the term 2011-2013, Dr. Sommariva served as Co-Chairman of the Technical Program for the 2009 IDA World Congress in Dubai and Chairman of IDA’s recently held conference, “Desalination Industry Action for Good,” a landmark event held in Portofino, Italy that focused on desalination and social responsibility.

Dr. Sommariva has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Genoa University and a Diploma in Management from Leicester University. He is an honorary Professor at Genoa and L’Aquila Universities where he holds regular courses on desalination and economics. He has published over 50 papers on desalination leading edge research and economics and published two books on desalination management and economics.

He has been President of the European Desalination Society (EDS) and chairman of the World Health Organization’s committee for the establishment of safe drinking water from desalination.
In November 2013 Dr. Sommariva was conferred an honorary degree by Herriot Watt University in recognition to his contributions to chemical engineering and the science of desalination.
In May 2014 Dr. Sommariva has been conferred by the President of Italy Giorgio Napolitano the title of master of work along with the cross of merit for his work distinguished contribution and career.

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Ms. Shannon McCarthy, Italy

Secretary General

/ smccarthy@idadesal.org

Ms. McCarthy has over 20 years experience working internationally and specifically with the Middle East and North Africa region, more so in the GCC and specifically with Jordan, Israel and Palestinian Authority in the field of water sustainability, research and application of non-conventional water resource technologies. She has served the International Desalination Association in the role of First Vice President, Chair of the Foundation and Public Outreach Committee, member of the Operations Committee, member of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee and champion for the development of the IDA Sustainable Water Resources Foundation establishment process.

Prior to IDA, Ms. McCarthy, served as a Partner of United4Water, a consulting firm operating in the water, food and energy sectors, providing strategic advice and assistance in business development, project planning and management, capacity building, environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility.

She was the Deputy Center Director of the Middle East Desalination Research Center, an international intergovernmental non-profit organization, born through the Water Working Group of the Middle East Peace Process and based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman with Diplomatic status. As part of the MEDRC start-up team, she participated to develop and implement cooperation programs in education, training and research for the Middle East and North Africa region, including the Core Parties of the Middle East Peace Process (Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority), focusing on desalination and water reuse technologies. She has a strong record of mobilizing resources and bringing together stakeholders from both government and the private sector to support education, scientific research, professional training programs, and specialized technology workshops and conferences related to advanced treatment technologies and water sustainability.

Ms. McCarthy completed an executive study program related to Public Policy and Management for Infrastructure Development at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and holds a BA degree in International Relations, specializing in US – Soviet relations, from San Francisco State University.

She has lived and worked abroad for the last twenty years, with special focus on water issues in the Middle East and North Africa region. She has been the Chair of several sessions addressing the Water, Energy and Food Nexus and Education and Capacity Building in non- conventional water supply technologies. She was the 2014 Co-Chair to the International Conference on HABS and Desalination held in Muscat, Oman under the patronage of the Oman Public Authority for Water and Electricity and co-developed MEDRC’s largest research award involving an international research consortium funded by USAID to address the critical issue of HAB’s and Desalination.

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Dr. Emilio Gabbrielli, Brazil


/ gabbrielli.emilio@toraywater.com

Director, Overseas Business Development, Global Sales Water Treatment for Toray, Dr. Emilio Gabbrielli has 40 years of experience in water. His first exposure to desalination was in 1975; while in Peru, he became involved in the design and construction of a solar desalination plant to produce drinking water for a marginal community in the desert region of the north.

This experience was enough to convince him to pursue a career in water resources development and protection, making desalination his technical focus. His first projects included desalination plants in Libya, Algeria and Saudi Arabia based on EDR and on MSF technology associated with power generation. In 1981, he moved to Australia, where his focus moved to membrane technology. He played a key role in the design and construction of most of the desalination and reuse projects in Australia at the time.

From 1995, Emilio spent a few years with Thames Water developing PPP projects, mainly in Indonesia, Spain, the Caribbean and Latin America. In 2003, after four years as Managing Director of Thames Water do Brazil, Emilio was appointed Executive Secretary of the Global Water Partnership (GWP). GWP is an international network of institutions committed to the sustainable development and management of water resources. It was founded by the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and the Government of Sweden. At GWP, he was able to continue pursuing his ideals of a better life for all through policies that lead to a more sustainable and equitable use of water.

In 2009, Emilio returned to Brazil with a global business development role for Toray, focused on Latin America, Spain and Australia. In 2012, the Australian Water Association (AWA) appointed him to the honorary position of AWA Global Ambassador

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Mr. Alistar Munro, UAE


/ a.munro@projecx.biz

Alistair Munro is Chairman, CEO and Founder of PROJECX, a consulting group headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that provides services to power, water, environmental engineering and energy intensive industries in the Middle East, African, Indian and Asia Pacific regions. He is also Chairman, CEO and Founder of International Power and Water Investments, an investment company focussed on supporting project development and corporate financing within the power, water and environmental sectors. In addition, Mr. Munro is Executive Chairman of 4Navitas, a UK based vertical axis wind turbine manufacturer.

Earlier in his career, he was Global Sales Director at Weir Westgarth, Weir Entropie, Weir Westgarth; Regional Sales Director, Asia Pacific, at Betz Dearborn; Vice President at Argo Scientific; Marketing Director, Desalination Additives Business, for Ciba-Geigy; and Regional Manager, Middle East (Gulf States), at W.R. Grace.

Mr. Munro has a BSc degree in Chemistry from West of Scotland University and a Post-Graduate degree in International Marketing from IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Mr. Leon Awerbuch, USA

Dean of the IDA Academy

/ letleon@comcast.net

President and Chief Technology Officer of Leading Edge Technologies Ltd. (LET), Leon Awerbuch has been involved in the desalination industry for more than 40 years. He joined Bechtel Group in 1972 in R&D followed by increased responsibilities for power and water programs as International Bechtel Co. Ltd Vice President and Senior Regional Representative for theMiddle East. During his 35 year career with Bechtel, he was in charge of desalination programs involved in R&D, design and engineering as well as EPC of desalination and power projects.

As a developer of LET Integrated Upgrading Systems using Nanofiltration membrane softening technology, he was granted numerous patents covering the MED-MSF-RO-NF Integrated Hybrid Technologies. Other patents cover Geothermal Energy and Flue Gas Desulphurization. Mr. Awerbuch was one of the early pioneers in Hybrid Power-Desalination concepts, Desalination Aquifer Storage and Recovery (DASR) and Hybrid MSF-MED. The patented Integrated Hybrid MSF-NF project won the 2007 Global Water Intelligence Award for Innovation. Mr. Awerbuch also won the first prize for innovation conferred by the Saudi Water and Electricity Forum in 2007. Based on his patents, LET was a first prize winner of Innovative Use / Application of Technology awarded by inaugural H20 Water Awards 2010 celebrating the outstanding achievements of individuals and organizations who contributed to the advancement of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region’s water industry.

Mr. Awerbuch was elected to the Board of NWSIA at Conference in Key Largo, Florida 1975, and was elected Vice President and Director of NWSIA, WSIA and ADA, predecessors of AMTA. He was Past Chairman of Legislative and Government Relation Committee WSIA. He is co-author of the IDA Constitution adopted at the merger of IDEA and NWSIA. Other professional recognition includes a Presidential Citation – NWSIA for Outstanding Service (1981), The American Desalting Association – Distinguished Service Award (1991-1993) and ADA Presidential Award – Distinguished Service Award (1996).

Mr. Awerbuch served as IDA President from 1989-1991. Chairman of six IDA World Congresses, he currently serves as a Director of the Association and was a Chairman of IDA’s Technical Programs for 22 years. As such, he has organized and chaired over 40 conferences, forums, seminars and workshops around the world. He was co-chair of IDA’s Energy and Environmental Task Force and serves as Dean of IDA Desalination Academy.

Mr. Awerbuch received the Life Recognition Award from IDA at the 2007 World Congress in Grand Canarias and the award for Life Achievement at the Inaugural Power Generation and Water Solutions Middle East Awards in October 2009. He holds 28 patents and has published over 90 technical papers. He serves on the Editorial Boards of the IDA Journal on Desalination and Water Reuse, Desalination and Water Reuse (D&WR) Quarterly and Desalination & Water Treatment Science and Engineering Journal. He is also a member of the Research Advisory Board of the Middle East Research Center (MEDRC).

Mr. Awerbuch received a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from Warsaw Technical University. He has also undertaken Graduate Study toward PhD, Chemical Engineering, Warsaw Technical University and Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, New York.