Winner of the IWA Publishing Award, Damir Brdjanovic, reflects on the significance of the prize and shares advice for aspiring researchers and professionals. The Award recognises Brdjanovic’s outstanding contribution to disseminating essential water research and was presented at the IWA World Water Congress 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.

I am really happy to have received this award as it is an acknowledgement of a decade of hard and innovative work, not only for myself but for an entire team of co-workers. This includes editors, co-authors, reviewers, graphic designers, translators and many others, who contributed to the success of a half dozen of books produced with IWA Publishing. Therefore I regard this award as recognition for the team, rather than just for an individual accomplishment.

The award is very important to me as it touches to the core of my professional dedication which is education and research, where dissemination of knowledge plays an important role. This award also tells us that we are on the right track and that the innovative approaches we have taken are needed and recognized, not only by IWA members but also other professionals in the water sector who have shown interest in our books.

The 'secret' to why the books are bestsellers is that we carefully identified unexplored niches, that we engaged a truly global community of the world's best experts, and that we made a very serious attempt to unify opinions of leading research groups, often reaching a consensus, which is of tremendous help to young students, researchers, and professionals, as well as to more experienced readers. In addition, our sponsors recognised the potential of our research and so we secured sufficient funds to execute our plans and ideas. And not to forget the IWA Publishing team that supported us unconditionally from the beginning of our cooperation, which stretches back to 2005.

An important factor that contributed to the success and wide-spread sales of the books is that they all  play a valuable part in university curricula in sanitary or environmental engineering, or sanitation, and as such are an integral part of online courses. Our experience so far is that the best use of our books is in combination with online courses, some of which are linked below.

The global interest in our titles has been demonstrated by translations so far into Spanish, Arabic, French, Russian, Chinese, Croatian, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, and Korean. Some of our titles are also Open Access and are freely available on the web, reaching together more than 100,000 downloads so far. The many thanks and acknowledgements that we receive daily from readers are actually like being presented a small award each day, acting as further proof that we are doing something that people appreciate and value. At the moment we are preparing the new title on Methods on Faecal Sludge Analysis that we expect to become a bestseller too.

My advice to young IWA members, students and researchers is to not be afraid of professional dreams and to continue dreaming, many of my dreams within sanitary research have become, or are becoming, true. Out-of-the-box thinking, new ideas, courage, patience, diligence and hard work are the keys for success, in life and in this profession.


Helpful links from the author



Methods for Faecal Sludge Analysis (expected publication March 2019)

Experimental Methods in Wastewater Treatment (2016)

Applications of Activated Sludge Models (2015) 

Faecal Sludge Management (2014)

A Practical Guide to Activated Sludge Modelling (2012)

Biological Wastewater Treatment: Principles, Modelling and Design (2008)

"IHE Delft Innovations for Water and Development"

The SaniUP project



Experimental Methods in Wastewater Treatment

Faecal Sludge Management

Biological Wastewater Treatment: Principles, Modelling and Design


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