On the 13th of April, our Dŵr Uisce team in Dublin partnered with members of the REDAWN research group (ERDF Atlantic Area Programme 2014-2020) to deliver the “Energy from Water” event during Trinity Week. Three groups from different Colleges in Dublin and one group from a Direct Provision centre in Dublin attended the talks and demonstrations. In total, over 60 primary and secondary school students ranging from 11 to 17 years-old participated in these activities. It took place in two venues in the Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental. The event was an opportunity to share the work we do with a wider community, and also to get feedback from the creative minds of these students.
Our presentation addressed the challenge of “Energy from Water” and we discussed questions such as, “Is it important to save water and energy?”, “water scarcity around the globe”, “Do we have a problem with water and energy scarcity in Ireland and Wales?” and “How do we solve this problem?” Following this, the students were shown three projects in which the research group are involved in as possible solutions to the discussed questions. We discussed energy recovery by hydropower, and also briefly about the aim of the three projects, Hydro-BPT, Dŵr Uisce and REDAWN. Our group has been developing a 10-year history of how to recovery energy in water pipe-networks.
At the end of each talk, and prior to visiting the laboratory, students were asked to answer the question: “What water and energy research would you like to see addressed in the future?” The best answers were awarded prizes, which included sustainable products. These prizes were a positive motivation to generate interesting questions. After this game session, students visited the laboratory where our researchers showed how energy is extracted from water both through heat recovery and micro-hydropower technologies.
Dr. Irene Fernandez presented for a group of Ringsend College – 25 students – 14 years old, Dublin. Then, this group went to the hydraulic lab where Miguel Crespo and Jan Spriet showed them the hydropower and heat recovery technologies. The second presentation was conducted by the PhD Researcher Nilki Weerawardana to a group of 20 students from St Michaels College –17 years old. Dr. Ana De Almeida Kumlien delivered the last talk to a group of 15 young adults coming from Direct Provision centres in Dublin. During the talk, she discussed and interacted with the public so that they could share their experiences in terms of water and energy scarcity in their own countries. We are delighted to have delivered this event, and we hope we have inspired students to a career in STEM, especially working with water and energy issues.
Acknowledgments: College Green Campus Committee, Ms. Sandra Kavanagh (Faculty of Engineering, Maths and Science Administrator/strategic planning, graduate education, research activities and communications and information), Dr. Rachel Kavanagh (Education and Public Engagement Officer at AMBER), Dr. Kevin Ryan (Chief Technical Officer, Civil Struct & Env.) and Michael Grimes (Technical Officer, Civil Struct & Env. Eng), Daniele Novara (Dŵr Uisce) and Djordje Mitrovic (REDAWN).
 Answer from students are being formally analysed and are going to be published on a later date to this article.