The Water, Food and Energy Nexus: the 5th Oxford Water and Membranes Research Event
Water, food and energy are the three most fundamental ingredients of modern civilization. Without water or food, people die. Without energy, we cannot grow food, or power homes, offices, or vehicles. As the world’s population grows, the demand for each of these resources is increasing faster than ever. Their use is inextricably linked to each other, and to the environment. We consume massive quantities of water to generate energy and grow crops, and massive quantities of energy to deliver clean water. But we cannot build more power plants or grow thirsty crops and biofuels without impinging on fresh water supplies, and we cannot clean and deliver more water without driving up energy demand.

New water, food and energy solutions must be integrated with innovative, sustainable technologies that boost one resource without draining the other. At the same time, these technological solutions inevitably have a sustainable impact on the environment (and society in general), and the environment will have a significant impact on their achievability and success. Water, food and energy are locked together in a Nexus, at the heart of which sits climate change – Beddington’s ‘perfect storm’. Membrane technology offers one of the most important and rapidly growing responses to these challenges, with an astonishing rate of growth.

The Oxford Water and Membranes biannual research events gather scientists and engineers to share ideas and progress in addressing some of the key challenges of the 21st century.

This year’s theme ‘The Water, Food and Energy Nexus’ will encompass any aspect of the water-food-energy nexus, whether it be one of the components separately or their interactions.

This residential event is organised by Professors Robert Field, Nick Hankins and Aidong Yang, all from the Centre for Sustainable Water Engineering in the Department of Engineering Science. Professor Tony Fane (UNSW Sydney and NTU Singapore) will act as Honorary Chairman.

We are seeking expressions of interest in making a 25 minute presentation, or to attend as a delegate. With the support of Miriam Balaban, editor of Desalination and Water Treatment Journal, there will be an opportunity to publish your paper (if you wish), following review.

Please send your expression of interest to Robert Field – – including a one page abstract, or indicate you wish to attend solely as a delegate.

Poster displays are also welcome. The suggested list of topics below is simply a suggestion, and is not meant to be exclusive or prescriptive:

Topic One: Membrane Fundamentals
Topic Two: Water Treatment
Topic 3A: Food Production and Processing: role of membranes
Topic 3B: Energy Production: role of membranes
Topic 3C: CO2 Sequestration and Climate Change Mitigation
Topic 4: Sustainable Engineering Response to the Water, Food and Energy Nexus
Date: 28 June 2015, 9:00 (Sunday, 10th week, Trinity 2015)
Venue: Balliol College, Broad Street OX1 3BJ
Speakers: Speaker to be announced
Organising department: Department of Engineering Science
Organiser: Karis McLaughlin (University of Oxford, Oxford University Centre for the Environment)
Organiser contact email address:
Part of: Oxford Water Network
Booking required?: Required
Booking email:
Audience: Public
Editors: Anne Bowtell, Karis McLaughlin