Andres: “I am very keen on hydroponic systems in urban areas”

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Andres Lucht Uribe from Germany is participating in the second group of the European Junior Water Programme (EJWP). He is sharing his experiences on Water News Europe. He is enthusiastic about meeting international water professionals during the Programme. “I am also very keen on the nexus approach for urban areas as hydroponic systems could offer.

What and where is your current work position? 

I am currently working in Frankfurt, Germany, at DECHEMA, the Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. I manage research projects in digital industrial water solutions, evaluation of digitization efforts at SMEs, and modelling of water management for hydrogen production sites. 

What value do you aim to bring to your organization and career from your EJWP journey?

DECHEMA and Water Europe (WE) have some similar interests in building professional networks and knowledge transfer. In addition, WE and also EJWP pursue the aspect of European governance. Within these topics, I highly appreciate the aspects of communication and cooperation. Here, attentiveness and openness in intercultural communication are worth mentioning. I would like to apply these interests and values to my entire professional career. 

What was your most valuable experience with EJWP so far?

For the first six months we had only online meetings. But thanks to Naomi’s and Jennifer’s professional guidance and care of the team, we still managed to create a friendly, warm and professional environment.

What have you already learned or developed in knowledge or skills?

Listening actively to people and giving them your full attention is the foundation for building a lasting connection. This is actually something I would also like to urge all readers to do. With increased digital communication, personal relationships are being pushed into the background. Take your time and try to see and understand the people around you.

What are the benefits of an international network? And how are you building a water network with EJWP?

Germany and its waters are connected with neighbour countries, and the EU/EC is regulating certain issues. If we want to see the bigger picture and understand complex systems, we have to network and take different perspectives. An international network is important for gaining new perspectives and to confront current challenges.

What can better-connected international water professionals mean for water sector organizations?

Water is and has been an essential part of human life. In any type of project, we must consider regional peculiarities, cultural and religious customs. With this knowledge, the implementation of new measures is more likely. Considering the climate crisis, climate refugees and new conflicts, we must work in a more holistic and interdisciplinary way. 

What did you study?

I began with Environmental Sciences, received a master’s in Process Engineering at the University of Duisburg-Essenn and completed advanced training in data science and programming. I consider myself as a Water System Analyst. 

Where and in which position would you like to be working in five years?

From today’s perspective, I would like to lead diverse technical projects in close collaboration with R&D. In the best case, with a small laboratory. I enjoy bringing people together, share knowledge and develop new solutions in teams. I support integrated and durable water solutions, but I am also very keen on the nexus approach for urban areas as hydroponic systems could offer. Additionally, future products and services should include digital options for data integration and data monetization. We do not yet understand the value of our data!

But looking back, I should not get too caught up in plans, but continue my education – because this can be fun and open new doors and perspectives. But if anyone has the right job, feel free to contact me

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