Gigi Karmous-Edwards tells us how her experience with black holes led her to team up with others and contribute to smart solutions in water.
Gigi Karmous-Edwards run her own consultancy, Karmous-Edwards Consulting, working at the cutting edge of digital innovation with top-level global experience which has taken in CapGemini, Innovyze, GoAigua, Suez and NYCDEP, to name a few. At WEX2020 she is moderating the panel for Digital Twin Challenges and Benefits for the Water Sector. As a consequence of her pioneering, international role in the development of the Digital Twin, she is coordinating ten US utilities to attend WEX Global in Valencia to see the most advanced working version of it, from cities ranging from Washington DC, Las Vegas, New York, Houston and Miami.
Why do you come to WEX?
I want to meet more water utilities from around the world, and to share experiences and plans!
What brought you to the Digital Twin model in water?
My background was in academic research on “Grid-Computing”, the sharing of super computers, fiber-optic circuits, and big-data analytics for large-scale scientific projects – what ultimately became ‘the Cloud’. We were trying to figure out things like black hole analysis and the Large Hydron Collider (LHC) in Geneva Switzerland. For me it was a natural progression to look at the same sorts of issues for water. I have been pursuing the ‘digital twin’ model in the international water sector for around 7–8 years now.
What is the SWAN Digital Twin H2O Work Group?
I have formed a working group as part of SWAN – the Smart Water Network. Its goal is to accelerate the adoption of Digital Twin technologies by bringing together global water leaders from utilities, solution providers, engineering firms, government, and academia. By doing this, we can increase utility operational efficiency, saving billions of dollars and improving water quality on a global basis. Colby Mainwaring of Innovyze and Andreu Fargas of Consorci Aigues de Tarragona are currently co-chairs with me the working group. There are now two subgroups (‘Holistic Architecture’ and ‘Outcomes & Applications of Digital Twin’) and the group is working really well together. It will be particularly good to get together with Jaime Barba Sevillano at WEX2020 again, since previously Idrica has been participating in the first two workshops and the sub-working groups as we try to bring best practice to the world.
The next SWAN Digital Twin event will be in Glasgow on May 12-13th.
What About the Circular Economy?
What water utilities needed was a model for the management of their operations. From the outset my aim was for utilities to have a holistic management platform. Thanks to part-funding from the Trade Commission of Spain, ICEX, these progressive US utilities will attend and speak at WEX2020 in Valencia so we can learn from one another, celebrate the power of good innovation, and promote the circular economy and smart solutions. This is good for Spain too, because historically, the French have been seen as having the most progressive utilities but now Spain has a major and celebrated strategy, and WEX will help to showcase that. Every utility should have the goal of working towards a digital twin.
There is a lot of momentum right now in this area!