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Jess Holland, Postgraduate Researcher (QUEX Institute)

Jess Holland - Water They Up To: CWS in the Spotlight

Postgraduate Researcher, Jess Holland answers our questions in this month's 'Water they up to: CWS in the Spotlight' feature.

What is your research about?

For my PhD, I am investigating and implementing machine learning methods for predictive maintenance in waste water treatment equipment.

What is the most exciting part about your research?

I think it’s the combination of multiple fast-moving fields of research. Machine learning is huge right now so lots of significant developments are being made, which are fascinating even if they aren’t in my specific niche. Then within the water sector there is a big push towards smart systems and data-driven methods, so it’s great to play a part in that movement too.

When thinking about water, what place comes to mind first and why?

Strangely I think of a waste water treatment plant near my family home. When walking in the fields near my house when I was young, the footpaths would take us right next to it, and since we were in a small town it felt like a big feature of the area. I can’t tell you that it completely inspired my career path, but I was always curious about what I could see through the fence, and now it is surprisingly satisfying to have reached a point where I have some answers.

Which movie or book character would you most associate with water?

There are too many, but I’m currently reading 'Dune'. Since the main character, Paul, is adapting to life on a desert planet, a major theme is conservation and wastage of water. I love it when writers put effort into thinking about practical worldbuilding details like these, and it makes me look at my own water usage differently.

Date: 13 June 2022

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