Dr Dave Richards, Louise Smith and Professor Dan Parsons


Top University of Hull speakers join line-up for 2020 Waterline Summit

Leading University of Hull experts in environment and low-carbon energy are included in the line-up for the 2020 Waterline Summit.

Speakers including Dr Dave Richards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Enterprise, Professor Dan Parsons, Director at the Energy & Environment Institute, and Louise Smith, Director at Aura, will all share their insight and knowledge during the five-day virtual event, taking place from October 19-23.

Also included in the line-up of speakers are Dr Briony McDonagh, Lead for the University’s Risky Cities project, Dr Christina Roggatz, whose research into ocean acidification formed a new display at Hull attraction The Deep earlier this year, and Steve Curtis, Head of Sport at the University.

Dr Sam Ramsden, a Research Associate within the University’s Energy & Environment Institute, will also join the Summit. Dr Ramsden led a major household survey, commissioned by the Living with Water partnership, investigating the impact of Hull’s 2007 floods on residents in the city.

The Waterline Summit 2020, led by Marketing Humber in partnership with the University of Hull and Yorkshire Water, aims to position the region at the forefront of the global transition to a zero-carbon economic model.

It will build on the growing momentum across the estuary to embrace pioneering technologies, attract significant investment and create jobs in a green economy.

Dr Dave Richards said: “The University of Hull is once again proud to be a leading partner in the 2020 Waterline Summit.

“The University has gained, over the years, a world-renowned expertise in low-carbon energy and renewable technologies, alongside the impacts of climate change, such as flooding. All of this knowledge and research power is now playing an integral role in the Humber region’s push to become net-zero for carbon emissions by 2040.

“The Waterline Summit provides a week-long opportunity to not only see how the Humber is leading the way in low-carbon innovation, but also to meet key stakeholders and find out how your business can join the green revolution.

“I would urge all those who have not yet registered, to do so.”

Dr Richards will host a session titled ‘Strengthening our Capacity to Adapt to a Changing Climate,’ taking place digitally from 9.30 am to 11 am on Monday, October 19.

The session, featuring leading names from Arup, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Energy Park and Active Humber, will focus on strategic responses to climate change, and how to build on existing progress in flood resilience, housing and low-carbon energy.

Dr McDonagh, Dr Roggatz from the Energy & Environment Institute, and Steve Curtis, from Hull Sport, will also feature in Monday’s line-up.

The trio will join an event to celebrate the winning entries from the University’s Earth 2050 art competition, taking place from 1 pm to 2 pm, in a slot which will also include a debate titled ‘The Culture of Climate Change.’

Aura Director Louise Smith will round off the opening day of the Waterline Summit, giving an hour-long presentation, headlined ‘Aura - Adapting and Collaborating in the Humber for a Sustainable Future – Green Innovation Transformation in Practice.’

Ms Smith said: “The ability to innovate and adapt has never been more important as we seek to build a Net-Zero region resilient to the effects of climate change.

“The current disruption has given business the opportunity to come up with innovative solutions to build a greener future.

“In this session we will be celebrating how Humber businesses have been collaborating with Aura and our sister brands to turn their innovative solutions into a reality.”

Prof. Dan Parsons, Director at the University’s Energy & Environment Institute, will host a session on Day 3 of the Summit, concerning ‘Nature-Based Solutions.’

The session, ‘Nature contributing to Climate Mitigations,’ will look at how restoring natural habitats can play a crucial role in protecting people from the effects of climate change.

Prof. Parsons will be joined by BBC’s Science Editor David Shukman, Emma Howard-Boyd, Chair at Environment Agency and UK Commissioner to the Global Commission on Adaptation,

Bill Meredith, Principal at Bishop Burton College, and Hilary Hamer, Chair at Rooted in Hull project 'Hull a Sustainable Food City.’

Prof. Parsons said: “Innovation and technology must continue to be at the heart of the charge towards a zero-carbon economy. The Waterline Summit will demonstrate some of these innovations, and provide a glimpse into the future.

“However, we must also ensure that nature-based solutions are central in our thinking and such approaches are key to achieve our ambitious net zero goals. Protecting our habitats and green spaces will be vital in protecting communities from the devastating impacts of climate change.

“This session will focus on that very subject, and how humans must work hand-in-hand with our natural world to ensure a better future for all.”

Prof. Parsons will also feature in Waterline Live – a major webinar of international guests designed to explore the latest trends in climate change. This will take place on Thursday, October 22 from 1 pm to 2.30 pm.

Another of the University’s leading experts in flooding, Sam Ramsden, will speak at events hosted by Yorkshire Water and the University’s own Flood Innovation Centre, about his involvement in the 2007 Hull Household Survey.

Over 450 households in three Hull areas affected by the 2007 floods were asked about their experiences and responses to the event, which impacted 9,000 homes and businesses.

The new study has provided further insight into what measures residents took, and where engagement around further measures can be taken for future protection of homes against flooding.

The Waterline Summit will focus on the five “grand challenges” the world faces in tackling climate change – electricity and energy, agriculture, manufacturing and industry, transport, and buildings and people.

The summit will be based in a virtual conference centre, including a lobby, networking lounge, exhibition hall and auditorium, all hosted on the innovative vFairs platform.

It will be a fully immersive experience, with attendees able to browse exhibition stands and attend talks and panel discussions.

High-profile speakers will include Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England; Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency; Mark England, Team GB’s Director of Sport Services and Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020; and award-winning CNBC journalist and presenter Nadine Dereza.

Find more information on the Summit and register your place here.

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