UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering


Jeroen Ensink Memorial Prize 2019 awarded to CEGE PhD student and supervisors

3 August 2019

Dr Eve Mackinnon, who has just completed her PhD at UCL, was lead author on the paper awarded the Jeroen Ensink Memorial Prize 2019 by journal Waterlines. The work focuses on practical research into WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene).

Waterlines journal logo and image of hands cupping water

Entitled ‘Exploring exposure risk and safe management of container-based sanitation systems: a case study from Kenya’, the paper was authored by Eve, with UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE)’s Dr Luiza Campos as principal supervisor. Dr Lena Ciric and Dr Priti Parikh (also CEGE) were subsidiary supervisors, with Niteen Sawant (Unilever) and Kate Bohnert (Sanivation, Kenya) as industrial partners. 

The paper received the prize in June 2019, and concentrates on a little-researched aspect of WASH. Building on existing risk assessment frameworks, the project aimed to identify exposure risks from faecal pathogens and relevant control measures in a container-based sanitation (CBS) service chain.

The paper’s case study took place in Naivasha, Kenya in July 2016, employing a mixed-methods approach that included environmental sampling, key informant interviews, and direct observation. Dr Mackinnon and the team discovered that the production of exposure risks was related to multiple, inter-related causal mechanisms and risk factors. The findings are expected to guide approaches to exposure risk management in the future.

The Memorial Prize selection committee noted that this article “was the most rigorous of the short-list, was highly relevant to WASH sector policy and practice in low- and middle-income countries, and was also very much in line with Jeroen’s own research interests. Dr Jeroen Ensink’s own passion was for research as a means to promote better practice rather than solely as an end in itself. Waterlines believes that the prize-winning paper will contribute to that goal.” 

Launched in 2016, the annual Jeroen Ensink Memorial Prize commemorates the life and work of former Waterlines’ Editorial Board member Dr Jeroen H.J. Ensink who was tragically killed in 2015. Throughout his career, Dr Ensink sought to apply science and research to improve the lives of those who in the 21st century still live without access to safe drinking water and sanitation. He pursued this goal via different paths, but always with the same clear and practical focus on solving the problem. Dr Ensink left behind him both an impressive legacy of work, and also a very personal mark on his many colleagues and friends in the water and sanitation sector. 

The prize is awarded for an original paper submitted to and published in Waterlines in the previous calendar year, and includes book vouchers to the value of £200, a two year personal or institutional subscription to Waterlines, and a £100 cash prize.  
A member of the UCL Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience (USAR), Dr Mackinnon passed her viva in May 2019. She stated that it was “thrilling” to receive the award “on behalf of the research team in remembrance of Dr Jeroen Ensink. Some of the research team knew Jeroen and he was passionate about research that contributed to better practice. To consider that this research is in the same vein and remembers his work is a real honour.”

Dr Campos added: "We are delighted that our PhD student's article has been recognised by Waterlines Journal in this way, and has won the prestigious Jeroen Ensink Memorial Prize 2018. To win such an award is a wonderful reflection of Eve and the whole team’s hard work. We hope this research helps to continue Dr Ensink’s own hard work and legacy.”

The paper is free to view until July 2020 by visiting: https://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/10.3362/1756-3488.00016


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  • Credit: Waterlines journal