Welcome to the new Water Europe Cluster Co-leaders


The new year brings in new faces at Water Europe. We are excited to welcome on board four excellent water professionals as co-leaders of our Water Europe Clusters.

WE Cluster ‘The Value in Water’

Francesco FatoneFrancesco Fatone is Full Professor of Chemical-Environmental Engineering at Polytechnic University of Marche (Ancona – Italy).

Besides being coordinator or leader in several EU-funded projects, chair of international conferences and general secretary of the IWA Resource Recovery Cluster, author and editor in water-related international ISI journals, Francesco is active in the science-policy-business interface, as national advisor for the application of EU circular economy package and member of the ECOMONDO executive board.


WE Cluster ‘Smart Water Treatment’

Olga FerrerOlga Ferrer works in ACCIONA Agua R&D department, as Desalination and New Technologies Area Manager.

She undertook chemical and industrial engineering as well as her PhD studies in the Polytechnical Catalan University (UPC, Spain) and an MSc in Cranfield University (United Kingdom). She has been working in R&D and engineering in the water sector for more than 10 years.


WE Cluster ‘Water Smart Rural Areas’

Antonio Lo PortoAntonio Lo Porto is researcher at the Italian Water Research Institute (IRSA-CNR), in the field of Integrated Water Resources Management and irrigation management and acts as International Liaison Officer in the EU, China, India and USA.

He is the Past President of Euraqua and is  member of the Advisory Board of the Water JPI (Chair) and of the FACCE JPI. He leads of the focus area “Water Resources Management under Climate Change” in the China-EU Water Platform.


WE Cluster ‘Digital Water’

Rita Maria UgarelliRita Maria Ugarelli is Chief Scientist at SINTEF Community and adjunct professor at the Norwegian technical university in Norway.

She holds a PhD in Civil engineering with a focus on urban water infrastructure asset management. She is currently coordinator of the H2020 STOP-IT project and core team member of the H2020 Digital Water City and of the B-WaterSmart projects. She covers the role of secretariat of the Aqua Research Collaboration since 2016.


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