Workshop: Young Professionals

YP Workshop: Finding Smart Technology Solutions to the World’s Biggest Waste Challenges (3 CEUs)

Monday, September 25, 2017
15:45 – 18:30
Room 307

The “World’s Biggest Waste Challenges” global survey results are in! Participate in this engaging workshop to brainstorm smart technology and innovative solutions to the World’s top waste challenges identified in the survey conducted by the ISWA YP Group. Participants of all ages will be separated into small groups and tasked with brainstorming smart technology solutions for one of three real case studies from around the world with different issues (USA: Recycling Public Participation; Europe: Lack of Circular Design; and Asia: Open Dumps/Lack of Infrastructure). This workshop is a continuation of ISWA’s World Congress & WASTECON® 2017 Opening Ceremony, and workshop results will be woven into the Closing Ceremony. Let your ideas be heard!

Learn more about SWANA’s Young Professionals activities at the ISWA World Congress & WASTECON® 2017.


John Lyons, Director of Public Works, Hillsborough County, Florida

John Lyons

John Lyons is the Director of Hillsborough County’s Public Works Department. He received his Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering and Land Surveying from Purdue University and Graduate Certificate in Public Management from the University of South Florida. Mr. Lyons is a Florida-licensed professional engineer and professional surveyor and mapper. During Mr. Lyons’s career, he has worked in industry, construction, consulting and government. During his 20 year tenure with Hillsborough County, he has been a design engineer, project manager, County Surveyor, Public Utilities Director, and Public Works Director. In 2013, the County’s Solid Waste System successfully transitioned over 280,000 residential customers from manual collection to automated collection including single stream recycling that was the largest single-phase roll out in North America. Mr. Lyons continues to focus on continued improvement of the services provided by the Public Works Department to residents of Hillsborough County. Mr. Lyons and his wife Laura reside in Valrico and are parents of two adult children and four grandchildren.

Ashley Evans, PE, LEED AP, Market Area Engineer, Waste Management, Inc.

Ashley Evans

Ashley Evans, PE, holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in Business Management from University North Carolina. She is a Market Area Engineer at Waste Management and has 16 years of solid waste experience. Ms. Evans is an active member of the SWANA Planning and Management Technical Division and mentor within the Young Professionals Steering Committee.

Karl Vrancken, Professor of Waste Management, University of Antwerp, and Research Manager, Sustainable Materials, VITO, Belgium

Karl Vrancken

Karl Vrancken is a research manager for sustainable materials management at VITO. He is responsible for the strategic management of VITO’s materials program. He has a part-time assignment as professor at the University of Antwerp Department of Bioengineering, where he teaches sustainable resources management. He is a member of the International Solid Waste Association Working Groups on recycling and waste minimisation and was the scientific chairman of the ISWA 2015 World Congress in Antwerp. Mr. Vrancken is vice-chairman of the board of Plan C, the Flemish transition arena on sustainable materials management. He is a working group member in the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials and consortium chairman of the EEA European Topic Centre on Waste and Materials for a Green. In the first half of 2015 he was seconded to start up the knowledge and innovation community EIT Raw Materials, as interim chief operations officer.

Dr. Andrea Winterstetter, Flemish Institute for Technological Research, VITO, Austria; founding member of and current vice chair of the ISWA Young Professional Group

Andrea Winterstetter

Andrea Winterstetter holds a Bachelor’s degree in international business from the University of Passau (Germany) and a Master’s degree in environmental technology and international affairs from TU Wien University and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna (Austria). In 2016, she completed her Ph.D. thesis on the evaluation and classification of anthropogenic resources at the Institute for Water Quality, Resource and Waste Management at TU Wien, Austria, where she is currently still working as a postdoctoral researcher. Her main fields of interests are sustainable resource and waste management strategies in a regional and global context. She is a founding member of and current vice chair of the ISWA Young Professional Group.

Kamal Raj, Team Member, Infrastructure and Green Initiatives, Infosys Ltd, India

Kamal Raj

Biotechnologist by education, Kamal Raj has six years of professional experience in municipal waste management. Currently, he heads the solid waste management (SWM) initiatives at Infosys Ltd. He is a member of International Solid Waste Management Association (ISWA) and the founding member of Indian Young Professionals Group (YPG) chapter. He is also the co-founder of Reap Benefit, a non-profit organization that works in urban sanitation in India. Mr. Raj specializes in organic waste management, decentralized facilities and smart waste management strategy. He has co-developed two low-cost biotech composting solutions for home and community and is credited for making India’s largest corporate entities independent in managing waste. He constantly engages with the government and industrial bodies as a technical advisor on decentralizing systems. He is passionate about integrating automation and behavioral change techniques in SWM for developing countries. He is passionate about making Clean India Mission a reality.