Meet the UWE MSc students on an IWSN scholarship

The International Water Security Network has awarded part-funded scholarships to eight students studying the MSc in Environmental Management (Water) at the University of the West of England. Here, seven of those students discuss their studies and their ambitions:

Daniele di Fiore
When I first heard about the MSc in Environmental Management, I knew it could be a turning point for me. After my MSc in Conservation and Management of Natural Resources, I moved to the UK hoping to put to use, and further increase, my studies and skills. I contacted the International Water Security Network with that hope; they greeted me and answered all my questions and doubts. The Water Security Scholarship is an incredible chance for me; it gives me the opportunity to study in one of the best universities on an environmental subject that is an increasing issue today. Without the IWSN scholarship, I could not have been part of the program.

I am from Naples, Italy. In my country, as globally, hydrogeological problems, water quality issues and the rightful management of water resources are main concerns. This program will give me the means to be a skilful expert on water and make a significant contribution to the topic. I have the chance to learn a lot and am particularly excited to meet experts with different backgrounds. I look forward to make the best of this opportunity and am sure that it will be an incredible experience.

Rob SarkoziRob Sarkozi
Having graduated with First Class Honours in BA Geography I have been introduced to a plethora of challenges this world faces in the 21st century and perhaps none more so than that of water management. Water is fundamental to our very existence yet it is being used and abused in a way that almost deems it as an expendable resource unaffected by chemicals, pollution and disease that is anthropogenically integrated into water systems. This is why upon being given the opportunity to study Msc Environmental Management with a ‘Water Management Pathway’ I simply could not refuse, particularly as it involved becoming a scholar of the International Water Security Network whilst working with incredibly passionate people.

The issues and challenges surrounding water are both fascinating and critical at home in Bristol, England as well as abroad. Bristol is a great city to study and work in as it is about to engage in the European Green Capital 2015 programme that will put sustainability and sustainable development at the top of the city’s agenda – with water issues playing its part. As an individual born and raised in Bristol I have studied in the city at UWE, currently work in project management for an energy and sustainability company and continue to study as a post-graduate at UWE as a potential water manager. However, despite my close connections to Bristol I am a keen traveller and engage within research globally which is why the International Water Security Network is a great organisation to be involved with. Of particular interest to me is research in urban water security, water conservation for the natural world and the energy-food-water nexus – all of which I have studied and continue to study at Masters Level.

I am now looking forward to working with students, professors and professionals in the water industry at home and abroad to better understand some of the challenges within water management and to articulate some potential ongoing solutions to these issues.

Jonathan Biggs
I first decided to turn my attention to environmental matters whilst taking notes for a course on climate change. Hearing about the already substantial effects of global warming has motivated me to contribute towards developing credible solutions. I am now studying for an MSc in Environmental Management, specialising in water management. Since finishing my first degree in psychology I have worked in research, teaching, social work and community development.

Over the last few years I have spent much of my spare time volunteering for grassroots social change to bring about healthier relationships to ourselves, one another and our shared environment. I feel fortunate to live in Bristol, a city where many people and organisations consider how best to use resources in a sustainable manner. I am grateful to the International Water Security Network for the support it provides and look forward to hearing more from students all around the world.


Jennifer Wilson
Last year I graduated from Bath Spa University with a First Class Honours in BSc Geography where I learnt that my interests were focused on fluvial systems and their management. Throughout my degree I was fortunate enough to work in partnership with the Environment Agency as part of an ongoing research project. This gave me an insight into potential careers in the field but also highlighted that there were areas of my knowledge that were lacking.

Therefore, when I came across the MSc Environmental Management at UWE with a particular focus on water management I had to take it up. This course allows me to continue exploring my initial areas of interest whilst broadening my knowledge of the many other areas of water management, such as governing policies, water treatment and distribution, and issues surrounding water quality and security both in the developed and developing world. My project at UWE will focus on sediment and nutrient mobilisation by cattle poaching and explore some indicative costs of this. I am grateful to the IWSN for providing the support and opportunities to achieve this and look forward to interacting with the network to explore some of the challenges facing water managers today.


Chloe Langham
The pathway which culminated in my graduating in Geography and Environmental Management with a 2:1 degree made me very aware of the environmental and social challenges faced by the global population. A third year module introduced me to the field of water management and the problems therein and I wanted to explore this further. There is much wasted in this world and none more important than waste of water.

My particular interests lie in sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDs), water security, the climate-energy-water nexus, sustainable technologies and climate change, and the interconnectedness of all these fascinates me. My Masters project at UWE will focus on multi-comparison of SuDs systems with conventional systems with a life-cycle assessment case study.

I was first thrilled to be offered the opportunity to study MSc Environmental Management following the ‘Water Management Pathway’ and was then honoured to be awarded the ‘International Water Security Network scholarship’ which has provided the means to accomplish my goals. I am excited about the journey ahead and look forward to exploring all aspects of water/environmental management globally. My ambition is to take what I learn here forward into the world of work to do my part to achieve greater water security worldwide.

Nicola Kerr
Having previously studied BSc Geography and Environmental Management at UWE, I became increasingly interested in water-related topics, such as catchment management, policies involving water, and the challenges faced in terms of water security. I questioned what the future holds for water.

This growing interest and curiosity encouraged me to look at furthering my studies by undertaking a master’s degree. Fortunately I was able to undertake my studies on the MSc Environmental Management Water Pathway which has been able to provide answers to my curiosity and created new avenues which I have developed an interest in. The Water Pathways range of topics means that I feel that I am able to cover all of the topics I enjoyed at undergraduate level and learn about new ones of which I was not as aware.

Thomas Smallwood
I am studying for a Masters in Environmental Management, with a focus on Water Management, part time over three years. This allows me to continue working my current position as director of two small businesses – in the events and music industries.

Studying water and the environment has become a strong interest for me over the last few years, since my degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics seven years ago.

My areas of interest are still very wide. However, I am particularly interested in the environmental footprint of our food, consumer behaviour, providing water to those in need and flooding.

I look forward to learning from the high class professors at UWE and from interacting with the IWSN.