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Elizabeth Lawson, Postgraduate Research Student

Elizabeth Lawson - Water They Up To: CWS in the Spotlight

In this week's 'Water They Up To: CWS in the Spotlight' feature, we find out more about Elizabeth Lawson, Postgraduate Research Student.

What is your research about?

I am a final year EngD researcher with the STREAM Industrial Doctorate Centre, and my project is sponsored by Northumbrian Water. My research is based on the concept of operationalising resilience. Basically, I’m working on ways that existing resilience theory can be translated into methods and processes that can be implemented by operational teams in the UK water sector. The aim is for my work to help improve the ability of operational teams to respond to, and manage events, independent of their scale or context.

What is the most exciting part about your research?

Definitely working with industry and people working on the 'front line'. I really enjoy talking with operational staff about the challenges they face, whether current or future, and working together to help produce tangible solutions. I think at times I have the tendency to get a little caught up in the theoretical side of my work, and having that working relationship with a water company helps me to make further sense of it all.

When talking about water, what place comes to mind first and why?

Niagara Falls. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the site a couple of times, and I think that nowhere else I have been provides a better reminder of the sheer power of water.

Which movie or book character would you most associate with water?

I was really tempted to say Jaws … however I think a better answer would be the character of Kya, from 'Where the Crawdads Sing' by Delia Owens. The story is based around her life on the marshes of North Carolina, and when I read this book last year it was the first time I had really fully considered the variety of aquatic environments that are out there!

To find out more, view Elizabeth's profile

Date: 21 June 2021

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