Time stress, but still concentrated

DWA: Mission accomplished. Competitions were a great success

9 June 2016. Nearly 30 teams from Germany, Egypt, Slovenia, the USA and Austria took up the challenge of the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA) and participated from 30 May to 2 June 2016 in the third Open German Championship in wastewater engineering in Munich. 18 teams took part in the first World University Challenge to be held.

“It’s great to see how much commitment the teams put into their tasks”, said a delighted Rüdiger Heidebrecht, Head of the DWA department Training and International Relations and the initiator of the competitions. He is sure: “Whoever takes part is already a winner, whether he’s among the top finishers or not. What counts is the motivation and the team spirit. That’s what the employers like to see.” Because according to Heidebrecht: “For companies, competitions are an instrument for staff development and personnel selection.”

The professional competition for the operating personnel in wastewater treatment plants and the university challenge were held in several disciplines: the wastewater professionals had to show how they comply with the occupational health and safety requirements when rescuing an injured colleague from a shaft, that they master the maintenance and repair activities based on the example of an underwater motor pump, that they are able to handle measuring and control devices quickly and correctly, and that they can control process operations. For this purpose, the flow diagram of a water treatment plant had to be created using magnetic cards on a whiteboard, a malfunction had to be identified and remedied.

The young academics had to perform tasks on the sustainable use of water resources. The relationship between water use, social and economic development and environmental sustainability had to be simulated, an innovative idea had to be assessed and structural development measures from the areas of water, waste and energy had to be suitably combined. In addition, the participants had to demonstrate that they have mastered the control and measuring in drains and wastewater treatment plants.

“The competition was hard”, Rüdiger Heidebrecht explained. “But that really spurs people on to do their best.” That’s something the audience was also able to witness. The competitions were held during the industrial fair IFAT. The visitors were therefore able to see for themselves what knowledge and skills are expected of specialists for wastewater engineering and future water management engineers.

The DWA’s President Otto Schaaf also paid tribute to the work of the teams: “The processes in our wastewater systems have to work well at all levels. For this we need top personnel.” The DWA’s commitment to training and development and especially the competitions are, says Schaaf, an important element when it comes to securing quality. Because: “In a sporting competition, fun and motivation combine into a special experience through the interaction of the different teams”. 

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