Hydrogen pioneer and sustainable energy entrepreneur, Prof. Ad van Wijk, was today nominated Honorary Fellow 2018 for his great contribution to KWR. His appointment was made before the start of the KWR Hydrogen Seminar, in which Van Wijk gave the keynote speech. He was handed his fellowship award by KWR’s CEO, Prof. Dragan Savić. With his appointment, Van Wijk aims to help bridge science to practice.
Great contribution to KWR
KWR awarded Van Wijk this Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his great contribution to the institute. Van Wijk was not only the inspirer of the line of research on water and energy at KWR, but he also helped set it up.
Van Wijk is furthermore the spiritual father of the Power-to-X project, a sophisticated concept for the local use and storage of sustainable energy and (rain)water. His pioneering work led to several publications, notably Solar Power to the People, which he wrote with co-authors from KWR and Allied Waters. Van Wijk also participated in the preparatory thinking behind the Joint Research Programme-WiCE programme on the theme of Energy and Water.
Source of knowledge
Since 2015, KWR has awarded an Honorary Fellowship every year to an individual from KWR’s national and international network, who has made an outstanding contribution to the public and collective values that KWR upholds. An Honorary Fellow is appointed for life, and, together with the other Honorary Fellows, constitutes a source of knowledge, expertise and experience that can be consulted when needed.
Van Wijk is a sustainable energy entrepreneur and part-time Professor of Future Energy Systems at TU Delft. He is also associated with KWR, where he is shaping the Energy and Water research programme. Moreover, he is ‘hydrogen ambassador’ for the Northern Netherlands, with the task of establishing a hydrogen economy in the area.
Van Wijk has received numerous important awards for entrepreneurial excellence. For instance, he was chosen ‘entrepreneur of the year’ in 2007, and was ‘topman of the year’ in 2008.
Bridging science to practice
Van Wijk is very honoured by the appointment: ‘Most of all, because my background is not in the water but in the energy sector. KWR is a research institute that has traditionally done a great deal for the water utilities. Now that new challenges are emerging, including those in the field of sustainability, it is very important that KWR extend its knowledge. My appointment certainly contributes to this extension.’
Van Wijk wants to draw on his expertise as a scientist and as a veteran entrepreneur to help KWR strengthen its bridge to practice. ‘Science and practice are not mutually exclusive. Writing reports is useful, but what we must ensure most of all is that the knowledge is actually applied.’
KWR Honorary Fellowship
Over the past few years, KWR has acquired an impressive and conspicuous position in the field of applied research into the water cycle. During this growth process, the commitment, the decisiveness and the support of certain individuals for KWR, and for the Joint Research Programme with the water utilities, have been of vital importance. These individuals include managers, supervisors or proprietors from KWR circles, but also people from the institute’s wider national and international networks. Van Wijk is KWR’s fourth Honorary Fellow, following Martien den Blanken (2015), Joan Rose (2016) and Willy Verstraete (2017).