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10/01/2019

SWH Scientist Wins Place Prestigious 'Rising Star' Award

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Scottish Water Horizons scientist Rebecca Skuce has been awarded a place on a prestigious programme which helps develop the skills of rising talent within the industry.

Each year the Institute of Water selects just eight workers from across the UK who have shown potential to progress in the water industry. Rebecca Skuce has been selected as Scotland's Rising Star for 2019. She is part of the Business Development team at Scottish Water Horizons, a commercial subsidiary of Scottish Water. As Project Manager, she's responsible for managing the organisation's Water and Waste Water Development Centres to help support and promote innovation in the water industry.

By becoming a 'Rising Star', Rebecca will have the opportunity to broaden her industry exposure and knowledge by mixing with regulators, industry leaders and suppliers, and to attend a number of high profile events and conferences over the next year.

Rebecca, 31, said: "The planet is home to millions of species but humans dominate it; currently we are consuming more resources than nature can provide.

"According to the Global Footprint Network, to maintain our current consumption levels we require 1.7 Earths. In developed nations this value is much higher – for instance here in Scotland we would require the resources of 3 Earths to sustain our consumption levels. And I believe the Water Industry has a key part to play in finding solutions for this.

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"Water is fundamental to life and is the largest resource on Earth - but only 3% of it is drinkable. The effective management of this precious resource is critical to meet our future needs and sustainability goals. But we can't do it alone. We must work together with policy makers, academia and industry to solve these challenges. That is why being awarded this Rising Star positon is so exciting, as well as challenging. It is a wonderful opportunity and I am very grateful for it."

It was while studying Earth Science at Glasgow University that Rebecca was first introduced to the water industry through Environmental Science courses. She went on to study for a PhD in the subject when she investigated the removal of nanoparticle pollutants from water and waste water - which gave her an insight into critical water industry issues.

Rebecca joined Scottish Water as a Specialist Graduate in 2014 and began work as a Waste Water Process Scientist. She developed technical knowledge and expertise and gained responsibility for managing her own area of waste water treatment works in Glasgow and Ayrshire. Last year she took up her current role at Scottish Water Horizons.

Paul Kerr, Managing Director at Scottish Water Horizons, said: "We knew Rebecca was a rising star and for her to be awarded a place on this prestigious programme is very well deserved. Rebecca is a huge asset to Scottish Water Horizons and it is wonderful that schemes like the Rising Star programme exist to support people in their career.

"The programme will offer Rebecca unique, exciting and valuable opportunities to develop her skills, attend UK-wide events and raise her profile within the water industry."

The Water and Waste Water test centres are the only facilities of their kind in the UK. Located near Inverness and Bo'ness, the centres provide unique and dynamic research hubs for waste water and water technologies. Users can test new processes, technologies and equipment under live conditions in a safe and operational scale environment to enhance the marketability of their products without risk to Scottish Water operations.

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