IDA to launch Young Leaders Program

The International Desalination Association (IDA) announced that it has established a Young Leaders Program for younger industry professionals and students to promote opportunities in the industry, support career advancement, and provide a forum for communication and the exchange of ideas among committee members and the industry at large...

TOPSFIELD, MA, Dec. 3, 2008 -- The International Desalination Association (IDA) announced that it has established a Young Leaders Program for younger industry professionals and students to promote opportunities in the industry, support career advancement, and provide a forum for communication and the exchange of ideas among committee members and the industry at large.

The program, which will be led by a peer group of younger IDA members, will be officially launched at the next IDA World Congress, which will take place in Dubai in November 2009. Victor Verbeek, Business Development Manager, Toray Membrane USA Inc., and Tarik Bushnak, Director of Education and Training, Bushnak Group, are serving as Interim Program Coordinators.

The stated mission of the Young Leaders Program is to strengthen the level of interest in desalination, reward outstanding desalination-related work accomplished by young engineers and professionals, and communicate to the rest of IDA the opinions and ideas of younger members regarding current topics and issues in the desalination industry.

"The desalination industry continues to grow as desalination becomes an increasingly important part of the solution to the world's water problems. It is critically important to support the industry's growth and sustainability by increasing efforts towards attracting and retaining qualified young professionals. Through this program, we hope to reinforce the exciting opportunities that this field presents and draw more talented people to the industry," said Patricia Burke, Secretary General of the IDA.

Call for Members
In anticipation of the program launch in Dubai, IDA is now accepting applications from industry professionals interested in becoming members of the program.

To apply, candidates should send their resume along with a brief statement of purpose (a maximum of 500 words) to Patricia Burke at paburke@idadesal.org, Victor Verbeek at Verbeek.Victor@toraymem.com or Tarik Bushnak at tbushnak@yahoo.com. To qualify, candidates should play an active role in the desalination industry and must be 33 years of age or younger. They must also be members of IDA. The selection committee will give consideration to geographical locations of applicants to ensure appropriate representations from all regions of the world.

Award for Best Paper
As part of the program launch, IDA will present an award for the best paper presented during the 2009 World Congress proceedings by a member of the Young Leaders Program. The papers will be ranked by a panel of nominated judges, each of whom possesses significant desalination experience. The winner will receive a monetary award of 5,000 USD as well as a package that includes free full registration to the 2011 IDA World Congress.

Presenters who wish to be considered for this award should have already submitted an abstract to IDA and should email papers@idadesal.org to state their age and interest. Please reference your paper title and log number.

Educational Tour
The Young Leaders Program will also initiate a promotional educational tour targeting key academic institutions in all regions of the world. The tour will involve presentations and seminars delivered by regional IDA members and/or industry leaders and regional members of the Young Leaders Program. The aim of the tour is to promote IDA and the industry as a whole, as well as to reach young engineers and professionals as they take their first steps towards their future careers. In due course, the Young Leaders Program also aims to integrate a schedule of plant and site visits into the educational tour.


The International Desalination Association is a non-profit association of over 2,000 members in 58 countries. The membership is comprised of scientists, end-users, engineers, consultants and researchers from governments, corporations and academia. IDA is associated with the United Nations as part of a growing international network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

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