EJWP4 Participant: Aleksandra Kulić Mandić

Industrial symbiosisWastewater

I am Aleksandra – a Research Assistant at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. In more detail, I work at the Chair of Chemical Technology and Environmental Science as a member of the Wastewater treatment group.

Studying Environmental Science at the Faculty of Sciences helped me to dive deeper into the water field. Understanding the impacts of climate change on water quality and quantity started to drive my will to further learn more about wastewater treatment. During my PhD studies I was working on the investigation of additional (re)use of various industrial solid wastes and by-products as catalysts of the advanced oxidation process. Which can be used in the tertiary wastewater treatment of recalcitrant organic pollutants. In this way, it can be said that I have implemented industrial symbiosis principle. This is not enough, so I strive to learn more and to further develop research with water reclamation as its focus. All that for ensuring circularity in the techno-water system.

This 2022 has been busy for me, besides PhD defense, I’ve had the opportunity to work on my laboratory and soft skills while being an External Consultant for the Purdue University project realized in Kenya. Also, I’ve started to work more on my graphical design skills, as a hobby, and some of my works were used as a book cover and text add-on illustrations. And now, I have joined the EJWP4 group! I am looking forward to work on water-related problems with diverse young enthusiasts in the next two years, to collaborate and expand our networks.

We asked Aleksandra some questions, and these are her answers.

What motivates you to participate in EJWP?

“I am the kind of person who just loves meeting new people, especially enthusiastic ones like Naomi Timmer, leader of EJWP! As an early-stage researcher, I have to work on my professional, knowledge-based skills, as well as broadening my network for future joint proposals. I truly think that EJWP is a great place to be, in the first place to meet new and interesting people from different water backgrounds.”

What value do you expect to bring to your career, community and/or the water sector from your EJWP journey?

“Through EJWP, we have a chance to learn about different water-related aspects from experts around Europe. For example, lectures about how the European Commission, Water Europe or OECD are functioning. We learned about the political and societal aspects of water through this.
This is important to broaden my insights and know-how. Hopefully, this knowledge will help me to impact the Serbian water sector in the future. In addition to this, I believe that my career will benefit from soft skills trainings held by the EJWP team, such as multicultural communication, time
management, and project management.”

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