Our work is backed by a group of international high-level water and sanitation professionals. Among our Think-Tank members are leaders of worldwide programmes, renowned scientists in the field of sustainable water and sanitation as well as consultants and professionals in project development, leadership and governance concerning Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management.

Prof. Dr. Paul Burger

(Uni Basel)

is head of the Sustainability Research Programme at the University of Basel. He holds a doctorate and habilitation in philosophy and history. Until 2005, he headed the interfaculty teaching program, People–Society–Environment at the University of Basel. Among his research interests are theoretical foundations for sustainability, values and evaluation, human–nature-interrelations as well as social and sustainability theories.

Dr. Pay Drechsel


has 20 years of experience as an environmental scientist in projects aimed at the safe recovery of resources from human waste, integrated natural resources management, and sustainable agricultural production in developing countries. Within IWMI, he leads several projects in the field of urban and peri-urban agriculture, solid and liquid waste management, and related environmental and health impact mitigation.

Dr. Themba Gumbo


is a Civil Engineer, holds a PhD in water and sanitation and is the director of Cap-Net, living in South-Africa. Before joining Cap-Net in 2011 as director, Dr. Gumbo held the position of Project Manager of a regional water demand management programme, implemented by the Development Bank of Southern Africa. His passion is empowering young people to take up a career in water and environmental engineering and management.

Dr. Johannes Heeb


is executive director of seecon international GmbH, based in Switzerland. He is also co-director of cewas, lecturer at the Universities of Basel and Lucerne and has extensive experience in the fields of resource management, Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM), development cooperation, as well as regional development. In all fields he has launched lighthouse projects worldwide.

Mr. Janek Hermann-Friede

(Integrity Consultant)

is an independent consultant with a focus on water governance, private sector engagement and sustainable water management practices. Until 2014 he was responsible for strategic partnerships and the development of practical approaches and projects to enhance water integrity in East and Southern Africa at the Water Integrity Network (WIN). As an environmental engineer with a post-graduate degree in international development cooperation he has worked on noumerous projects in Latin America, Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr. Kajetan Hetzer


is Business and Finance Advisor at WASTE. His expertise covers policy development, governance, risk and investment strategies and the design, implementation and management of programs via public-private partnerships. He has experience working on diverse types of water and sanitation projects, both in rural and urban areas, by means of centralised and decentralised solutions.

Prof. Dr. Petter Jenssen


is Professor at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the Norwegian University of Life Science. He is President of the International Ecological Engineering Society and is one of the most renowned experts for sustainable sanitation technologies. He is a popular speaker at international conferences in his field and has worked on numerous projects in India, China, Cuba, Malaysia, Russia, USA and Greenland.

Mr. François Münger


former senior water specialist at the world bank and former head of the Water Initiative Division at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Berne. François Münger is a distinguished expert in the water sector worldwide.

Mr. Dayanand Panse


was, until recently, joint secretary of the Indian Water Works Association looking after the management of the All India Membership Organisation. As a Strategic council member of the IWA, Director of Shonan Engineering, as well as the NGO Ecosan Services Foundation, he is one of the most well-connected professionals in the water sector in South Asia.

Ms. Tarryn Quayle


Tarryn Quayle is a professional officer in Integrated Urban Water Management at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – Africa. ICLEI is the world’s leading association of cities and local governments dedicated to sustainable development. It is a powerful movement of 12 mega-cities, 100 super-cities and urban regions, 450 large cities as well as 450 small and medium-sized cities and towns in 84 countries.

Dr. Nidal Salim


is director and founder of the Global Institute for Water Environment and Health (GIWEH) in Genève, Switzerland and member of the steering committee of Swiss Water Partnership (SWP). Prior to joining the University of Geneva in September, 2002 he worked as a director at the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), which involved many separate hydrological projects at local and regional scales. Nidal has an extensive bibliography of publications and participates actively in international conferences and workshops.

Mr. Roland Schertenleib

(W+S Consult)

works as a water and sanitation consultant and is a former member of the directory board of EAWAG. He is currently the president of cewas and dedicates himself to supporting and initiating progress in water and sanitation management.

Prof. Dr. Thor Axel Stenström

(Durban University of Technology)

is professor at Durban University of Technology (South African Research Chair Initiative) as well as at Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Thor Axel Stenström specialises in water, soil, food and health microbiology with a focus on epidemiology, risk assessment, risk management, vulnerability, and resilience. He is also collaborating with the WHO in the field of Sanitation Safety Planning and Environmental Risk Management.

Ms. Christine Werner


is a professional in development programmes in the water and sanitation sector. She has been heading the GIZ ecosan programme for over eight years and is currently leading the integrated water resource management programme in Rabat (Marrocco).

Mr. Thomas Zeller

(Swiss Water Partnership)

Thomas Zeller is co-chair of the Swiss Water Partnership. He is a former senior water policy advisor of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and has 20 years of experience in development cooperation in the water sector in Africa and Latin America, with a strong focus on irrigation and integrated water resources management.

Mr. Chris Zurbrügg


is director of the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec) at the Swiss Federal Insitute of Aquatic Science and Technology. Sandec’s activities focus on providing new concepts, technology and research for advancing the state of the global WASH sector.

Dr. Graham Alabaster


is the Chief of the Waste Management & Sanitation Urban Basic Services Branch of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. He is an Engineer and has over 25 years of experience in water, sanitation and solid waste management. He was worked in over 30 countries in Africa and Latin America.


We work with a wide range of partners across the water, sanitation and entrepreneurship sectors to assure the quality of our trainings and programmes as well as to support participants of the cewas start-up programme with a strong network

Main Partners

Lucerne Business Development

Situated in the heart of Switzerland, Lucerne Business Development is the official agency responsible to promote the canton of Lucerne as a business location. cewas is supported as an integral part of the start-up promotion strategy of Lucerne.

Swiss Bluetec Bridge

The Swiss Bluetec Bridge is an initiative of the SDC and supports Swiss start-ups and companies with an interest-free loan of upto 250’000 CHF for mainstreaming innovative technologies and processes benefiting low-income (“bottom of the pyramid”) customers in developing and emerging countries.

Luzern Region West

coordinates the regional development of the western part of Lucerne. Supporting cewas from its inception, Luzern Region West connects cewas and its start-ups with regional actors in the water sector and beyond.

WIN - Water Integrity Network e.V.

The Water Integrity Network (WIN) was formed to respond to increasing concerns among water and anti-corruption stakeholders over corruption in the water sector. It combines global advocacy, regional networks and local action, to promote increased transparency and integrity, bringing together partners and members from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia, to drive change that will improve the lives of people who need it most.

Swiss Re Foundation

The Swiss Re Foundation is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting care and concern for society and the environment. Launched in 2012, the Foundation aims to make people more resilient towards natural hazards, climate change, population growth, water scarcity and pandemics, along with other challenges to society’s security, health and prosperity.

Knowledge Partners

Hochschule Luzern - Wirtschaft

The Lucerne School of Business is the leading applied research competence centre in Central Switzerland and a part of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The University issues upto 15 ECTS Credits for graduates of the cewas start-up programme.

Swiss Institute for Entrepreneurship, HTW Chur

Together with partners from the private sector and research, the Swiss Institute for Entrepreneurship looks to develop and implement practice-oriented economic, technical, organisational and social solutions.

Network Partners and Clients