| Tapio Katko
- Adjunct Professor
- Tampere University of Technology
Dr. Katko is a sanitary engineer, Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Tampere University of Technology in Finland. His main research interests are long-term development of water and related infrastructure as well as institutional, management and policy issues of water and sanitation services. He is the author of several books and papers and he is heading a research team "Capacity Development in Water and Environmental Services": www.cadwes.org.
Dr. Katko obtained his Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1979 and his Doctor of Technology from in 1991 from Tampere University of Technology.
Pasts and Futures of University–Society Relationships in Sustainable Water Management (PAFUS)
The biggest global challenges of mankind are all in one way or another connected to water – its availability, occurrence, and quality. Water has several special features: a basic need, a prerequisite for economic activity, a natural monopoly, and is areally limited and susceptible to local conditions. Water services face future challenges: aging infrastructure and staff in the North and deteriorating systems, inadequate service levels and lack of staff in the South. Some 2.5 billion people mainly in the south still lack basic sanitation.
The author heads the Capacity Development in Water and Environmental Services (CADWES) research team at Tampere University of Technology, Finland. The mission of the team is to produce usable knowledge, based on trans-disciplinary research on the evolution and development of water services and water resources in the wider institutional context.(www.cadwes.org)
The aim of this study is to explore the long-term changes in the roles of water engineers, in the context of the relations between universities and society. The changes in the US, Finland and Eastern Africa will be explored and compared. How have the roles of engineers and their water-related curricula changed over time and what are the future implications? How have the relationships between universities, the labour market and society at large developed? How are they likely to develop in the future considering the changing and increasing global challenges?
Research approaches, methods and contents. The solutions should be based on visionary and strategic thinking while also utilising institutional memory. In that context, path dependence is highly relevant.
Sanitary engineering education in America started at MIT's Chemistry department in 1887 while in 2007 there were some 150 multi-disciplinary environmental engineering programs in the US. Finnish sanitary engineering was largely driven by public health, and gradually shifted towards civil and environmental engineering. More recently, institutional, management and policy issues seem to be on the rise. TUT water engineering alumni in Eastern Africa currently include 98 water experts and form a unique network holding key positions. MS programs were introduced in the US in the 1970s. At first, the water industry was doubtful, but by 1980s they were generally accepted. The same happened with doctoral studies later. Similar phenomenon was noticed in Finland a decade or two later, and now in Eastern and Southern Africa. The long-term changes in water, sanitary and environmental education paradigms will be studied by preparing a questionnaire to be sent to selected experts in the US, Finland and East Africa. The survey will also explore the experiences from different multi- and interdisciplinary approaches.
Colorado State University is an appropriate host institution to undertake this programme through its concept of a “Green University”, Water Center, International Water Initiative, and newly-formed School of Global Environmental Sustainability.