Events / Water Exchange Speaker Series: The Water-Energy Nexus – Opportunities & Innovation

Water Exchange Speaker Series: The Water-Energy Nexus – Opportunities & Innovation

October 27, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Join the Water Center at Penn for the next Water Exchange Speaker Series: The Water-Energy Nexus – Opportunities & Innovation


About this event

Water and wastewater utilities are large consumers of energy. At the same time, water and wastewater utilities are on the front lines of addressing the impacts of climate change, whether those impacts are in the form of flooding, drought, or severe storms. As providers of a fundamental infrastructure service, water and wastewater utilities must find ways to simultaneously reach net zero emissions while addressing climate change impacts.


This program will discuss how water and wastewater utilities are meeting these challenges through innovation, rethinking operations, bringing in new partners, and putting resiliency at the forefront of utility planning.


Come learn how water and wastewater utility leaders are creating a path to a net zero, resilient, and sustainable water future.




Christopher Gasson is publisher of Global Water Intelligence and co-founder of the Global Water Leaders Group. Global Water Intelligence is the leading source of business information and data relating to the international water industry, while the Global Water Leaders Group is a not-for profit network of utility CEOs committed to improving the performance of the water sector. Christopher is a graduate of Oxford University with a masters in politics, philosophy and economics.


Paul Kohl is the Director of Planning and Research (P&R) for Philadelphia Water. P&R functions as an internal consulting firm for the department, providing essential support services. P&R also connects the Water Department to other city agencies outside of the department and to various research and trade associations. P&R can be broken down into three main sections, the research/energy section, facility planning section (treatment plants) and the linear asset planning section (sewers and water mains). All of which ends up being a form of integrated capital planning.

Paul is a professional engineer with 30 years of experience in environmental engineering. Paul teaches as an adjunct professor at Drexel University, where he is currently getting his PhD in Drexel’s College of Engineering’s CAEE department (Civil Architectural and Environmental Engineering). His thesis topic is the utilization of thermal capacity of sewage. Paul has been Co-Principle Investigator for several, large, multinational research projects most recently dealing with energy concepts related to turning wastewater treatment facilities into resource recovery facilities. Paul has provided testimony to the PA-PUC, presented to the PA State SWAC (solid waste advisory committee) as well as is a member of Philadelphia’s SWARC and interfaces with PGW on renewable natural gas issues. Paul is a member of the American Biogas Council (ABC).




Howard Neukrug is a Professor of Practice in Global Water at the University of Pennsylvania and the founder and director of the University’s Water Center at Penn. He has 40 years of experience in the water industry, most recently as Commissioner and CEO of Philadelphia Water. He is a national expert and advisor to cities, water utilities and regulators on topics of integrated urban water systems, green infrastructure, advanced technologies, water science and policy/regulations, and in the financing and operations of utilities. His key area of research interests involves the role water systems play in the creation of sustainable and resilient cities and regions, public health and watershed protection. Mr. Neukrug is the founder of Philadelphia’s Office of Watersheds and the creator its award-winning Green Cities, Clean Waters program. Mr. Neukrug is also a co-founder of the US Water Alliance, the Schuylkill Action Network, the AWWA Water Utility Council, and the Leading Utility of World CEO Network, as well as other non-profit organizations. He is a Professional Engineer, a member of the US National Drinking Water Advisory Council, a board member of the Fund for the Fairmount Water Works, principal of CASE Environmental LLC, and Senior Advisor to the Global Water Leaders Group. At Penn, Professor Neukrug teaches courses concerning the future of water.


Professor John M. Vohs holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. Degree, also in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Delaware. He joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 where he is currently the Carl V. S. Patterson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research interests are in the areas of surface science, catalysis, photocatalysis, and solid-state electrochemistry, and his group specializes in elucidating structure-activity relationships for a variety of catalytic materials, including metals and metal oxides, and the development of anodes and cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyzers. Current research projects in his group focus on supported metals catalysis, development of catalysts for the upgrading of biomass to produce useful fuels and chemicals, structure-activity relationships for photocatalysts, and the development of electrode catalysts for fuel cells and other electrochemical devices. Prof. Vohs has authored 315 publications that have appeared in scientific journals and holds seven U.S. Patents.