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Meet the judges

All water award entries will be put through a rigorous two-stage judging process, reviewed by our panel of independent experts. 

Stage one:

All entries are reviewed and scored against the criteria by our independent panel of industry experts

Stage two:

Our judges, chaired by Alec Peachey, Content director of WWT, will all come together for an all-day judging session as they review the evidence, supporting docs and battle it out to decide who comes out on top for the 2020 Water Industry Awards.


nick ellins

Nick Ellins
Chief executive
Energy & Utility Skills

Nick became CEO of Energy & Utility Skills in 2015. He has over 30 years’ experience in the utilities and rail industries and previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Water, and Head of Consumer Strategy and policy advisor at Water UK, as well as senior management roles in contracting and manufacturing. Prior to his role at Energy & Utility Skills, Nick was Director of Policy for the Rail Delivery Group and Director of Policy for the Association of Train Operating Companies. He has twice been National President of the Institute of Water, is a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, a Fellow of the Institution of Primary Engineers and an ambassador for Design & Technology.
Photo Paul Hickey(140px)

Paul Hickey
Deputy director
Environment Agency

Paul Hickey is a Deputy Director at the Environment Agency with oversight of Water Resources for England. He is responsible for the protection and improvement of the natural environment. This remit includes water quantity monitoring including the national hydrometric service, management of strategic water resource assets, the abstraction and impoundment regulatory regime and long term water resource planning including drought response. Prior to this Paul was Head of Water Quality, Groundwater and Land Contamination. Before joining the Environment Agency Paul worked in the water industry in a variety of regulation and asset management roles. Paul is a Fellow of the Institute of Water and serves on its Board, Environment Committee and South West Area Committee.
martyn hopkinson

Martyn Hopkinson
Managing director
MH2O Consultancy

Now an Independent Consultant Martyn has almost 40 years experience in the water and wastewater industry, progressing from early site based supervisory roles to holding senior operational management and ultimately board positions with contracting organisations delivering water and wastewater services to the UK Water & Sewerage Companies. He is a former Chairman and Operations Director of the Future Water Association.
paul mullord

Paul Mullord
UK Director 
British Water

Paul has been responsible for the organisation’s UK-related activities since 1996. Paul has worked in the water sector since 1980 and is a member of various steering groups and working groups for industry initiatives and sits on various industry awards judging panels. Previously employed by a number of contracting companies in the water industry, Paul has experience of the contract management of projects in the UK and overseas, procurement, manufacturing and operations.
OFWAT Director portraits 2016 Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

Nicci Russell
Managing director

Nicci has been Managing Director of Waterwise since March 2017. Prior to this, from January 2013, Nicci was a Director at Ofwat, where she led Ofwat’s work on resilience and independent regulation and its relationship with the UK and Welsh Governments and with environmental groups. She also led Ofwat’s strategic approach in Wales and was involved in preparations for the 2019 Price Review and retail market opening in England. Nicci is a member of Southern Water’s Customer Advisory Panel/Customer Challenge Group. She also sits on the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum’s Advisory Board. She was a judge for the Institute of Water’s 2018 Innovation Awards. In May 2018 Nicci was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). Nicci was Policy Director and co-founder of Waterwise from 2005. She sat on the Waterwise Board as a Non-Executive Director from November 2015. Nicci’s background is in government and policy, with 12 years working for Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, including 7 as a Special Adviser. She was Special Adviser to Margaret Beckett as the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2001 to 2005. Nicci lives in Shropshire with her husband and three children. She is Chair of Governors at the local Junior School.
tony smith

Tony Smith
Chief executive
Consumer Council for Water

Tony joined the Consumer Council for Water in December 2005 as Chief Executive. Under Tony’s leadership, CCWater has successfully prompted a transformation in regulation and price setting in the water sector, getting companies and regulators focused firmly on customers and value for money. It has also encouraged water companies to produce a 60% reduction in complaints. His early career was in strategy and marketing, implementing business turnarounds in oil, aerospace, automotive and fast moving consumer goods businesses. Later Tony joined the utility sector where he has worked at senior level in electricity and as a director in the water industry and the rail sector. During his career in the utilities, he has led strategy, customer service and communication, delivery of investment programmes and gearing up for new competitive markets. His last job was with the water regulator Ofwat, as Director of Competition and Consumer Affairs, where he was responsible for consumer issues in the lead up to and through the 2004 price review.

Dr. Ana Soares
Senior lecturer in biological engineering
Cranfield University

Dr Ana Soares is a Senior Lecturer in Biological Engineering at Cranfield University in the UK. Dr Soares research explores the underpinning science required to develop and manage bioreactors employing new biological organisms, cultures or pathways in order to optimise wastewater treatment and delivering the circular economy. Her work focuses in municipal as well as industrial wastewater, proposing innovative and economically feasible solutions to produce high quality effluents and product recovery. Dr Soares has an h-index of 21. She chairs the 16th IWA Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies (LET2019), is an active member of various national and international committees (e.g.: IWA Resource Recovery Cluster, IChemE UK Research Committee, UK Water Industry Forum) and an Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports (journal from Nature Publishing Group).
ceris photo pro (re-sized)

Ceris Van de Vyver
Head of Water Consulting, UK
Isle Utilities

Ceris is a water industry professional with over 20 years proven scientific expertise in clean water, wastewater and an in-depth knowledge of public health and water quality. She has held senior management positions in several water companies over the past 10 years, was an Inspector in the Drinking Water Inspectorate and is currently Head of Water Consulting at Isle. Ceris is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Environmentalist, a panel member of Water Supply and Quality with CIWEM and a past chair of Welsh Area Institute of Water. Recently focussed on identifying global innovative technologies and support to water companies to continually improve efficiencies and effectiveness of water processes. With experience across the whole water industry sector, Ceris has successfully delivered Business Improvement and Business Efficiency projects and programmes to transform key operations within companies.
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