News J-WAFS and MIT community members win IDA Innovation Forum Awards

MIT students and alumni sweep the innovation awards at the International Desalination Association 2022 World Congress.

Josie Tracy Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab October 20, 2022

IDA Innovation Award Winners 2022 group photo

L to R: Carlos Cosín, John Lienhard, Jonathan Bessette, David Warsinger, Junghyo Yoon, Amos Winter, and Shannon McCarthy

The International Desalination Association (IDA) is a non-profit organization working towards global water solutions for all through technological innovation in desalination and water reuse. The organization recently hosted their annual five-day event, IDA World Congress, which aims to foster support for learning and sharing of ideas to advance water solutions. This year’s event took place from October 9-13 in Sydney, Australia. The theme was Charting Resilient Water Solutions, which illustrated the importance of securing global water resources and creating resilient processes and technologies to ensure water security in the face of climate change.

John H. Lienhard V, director of J-WAFS and member of the IDA 2022-2024 Board of Directors, attended the conference where he served as a co-chair on the World Congress Technical Program Committee. The Technical Program was comprised of industry experts in desalination and water reuse, including members of both the J-WAFS and MIT communities who presented their own innovative technological advancements for addressing water problems.

Group photo of the three winners

L to R: Jonathan Bessette, David Warsinger, and Junghyo Yoon, the IDA Innovation Forum award winners

New this year was the inclusion of the IDA Innovation Forum, which sought to identify cutting-edge solutions across industry and academia in the water and energy sectors. Prior to the conference, universities, research centers, technology developers, and start-up companies submitted proposals detailing their innovative technologies. A total of twenty-five proposals were submitted and an awards ceremony took place at the World Congress to announce the winners. In the 1st Annual IDA Innovation Forum Awards, MIT students and an alum took home top accolades after presenting their work.

David Warsinger, Assistant Professor at Purdue University and former MIT student of John Lienhard, received first place in the IDA Innovation Forum Awards. His presentation, “Developing Batch Reverse Osmosis Processes for Exceptional Efficiency and Recovery,” explored different batch reverse osmosis implementation methods and their integration with wave, wind, and solar power. Specifically, he emphasized the need for enhancing the sustainability and operating range of reverse osmosis.

Taking second place was Jonathan Bessette, PhD student at MIT and recent J-WAFS travel grantee. His presentation was entitled, “Simple, Sustainable, Straight from the Sun: Battery-less Electrodialysis.” MIT technical associate Shane Pratt and J-WAFS principal investigator Amos Winter aided in this research.

Junghyo Yoon, postdoctoral associate at MIT, tied with Bessette for second place for his presentation, “Nona+ Provides Safe Water in an Easy Way.” His work, including the development of MIT spinout Nona+ Desalination, stems from a J-WAFS project with professor Jongyoon Han, through which an off-grid portable ion concentration polarization desalination unit was created. Junghyo was also a winner in the 2021 J-WAFS World Water Day Student Competition for the same research. He acknowledges Bruce Crawford and Jongyoon Han for aiding in the development of this work.

Additionally, MIT spinout company Gradiant, which was created to implement technology developed in John Lienhard’s lab, was named Most Innovative Company for their cleantech advances in industrial water treatment, water reuse, and resource recovery of metals and minerals.

J-WAFS sends a hearty congratulations to all of the MIT winners from IDA’s World Congress this year!

Gradiant team members

Gradiant team members