International Conference in Athens

In June 2017, WISE CDT student Ioannis Markidis attended the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Athens. The Conference brought together scientists and professionals from government departments, industries and educational institutions. With co-authors Dr Marta Coma and Dr Tom Arnot, Ioannis presented a paper on his PhD research entitled “Anaerobic digestion of sewage and domestic wastes. How small can it be?”

Over the three-day event, there were 24 sessions running in parallel across 5 venues. Around 150 posters were presented in the conference’s main reception room. Many topics were covered including anaerobic digestion, bio-waste utilisation, waste valorisation, biogas recovery and livestock waste. Emphasis was placed on the food industry, biotechnology, the water energy waste nexus, circular economy, symbiosis networks, energy consumption and waste to energy.

There were many significant speakers including Panagiotis Skourletis Greek Minister of Environment and Energy, David Newman from World Biogas Association and Arnoldas Milukas from the European commission. They all stressed the importance of policies and legislation towards what was referred to as ‘the fourth industrial revolution’ and a ‘waste-less future’. The discovery of new techniques and new materials will drive the creation of new types of products. There needs to be a switch towards a circular economy and new social practice in order to reboot manufacturing and hence, the waste management sector.

Alongside the academic content, there were many social events. Ioannis enjoyed visits to the Acropolis Museum and Lake Vouliagmeni. He even had a cruise around the Hydra, Poros and Aigina Islands. Ioannis said “It was a great experience for me, that helped me learn new things, make new connections but also to travel back to Athens, where I used to live before I started my PhD and became part of the WISE CDT.”

 

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