China Mission of the WATCH research coordinator from September to December 2021

Despite the corona restrictions, the WATCH research coordinator, invited by the Chinese partner, has visited the WATCH location of Sichuan University (SCU) from 05/09 to 11/12/2021. After the required quarantine, various events were held jointly with the Chinese partners. The main activities are summarized below. Meeting with the College leadership on 07/10/21: Prof. Xiong, Dean for the College of Architecture and Environment at Sichuan University (SCU), warmly welcomed the WATCH research coordinator on 07/10/21 on behalf of the College. He reported on the goal of the trip and the planned WATCH activities. Prof. Xiong expressed the support of the College, which was subsequently implemented by the College.

Workshop on 08/10/21 at the WATCH location of the SCU: For the first time in two years, the WATCH research coordinator participated in the monthly workshop face-to-face together with the Chinese WATCH team in the meeting room. Prof. Lai, the WATCH team leader of the SCU, presented the successful development of WATCH since the start of the cooperation. The research coordinator, Dr. Yao, briefly reported on his travel destinations and the situation in Germany. Subsequently, some doctoral students and master candidates reported on their work on the preparation of publications in several journals. Afterwards, this was intensively discussed and suggestions for improvements were made.

Visiting the WATCH partner Aquaroot in Changsha from 10/11 to 13/11/21: The company Aquaroot in Beijing has been building up its branch/production in Changsha since 2020. At the invitation of Mr. Liu, the Chairman of the board, the WATCH research coordinator visited the site. During the conversation, Mr. Liu reported very concerned about worries that currently exist in the cooperation with his partner in Germany due to the pandemic. WATCH will provide intensive support here in order to ensure the continuation of the cooperation with the German partner.

Participation in the education of Sichuan University (SCU): As part of an introductory seminar for bachelor students on 02/11/21, Prof. Lai of the SCU invited the WATCH research coordinator to participate. The WATCH research coordinator presented the WATCH research platform and gave an overview of water protection in Germany, as well as an insight into the environmental study course at RWTH Aachen University. As part of a teaching program for Bachelor students, Prof. Chu of the SCU has asked the WATCH research coordinator for support. On 16/11/21 he gave a lecture on the drainage system for the course participants.

Conversation with Dr. Hou on 19/11/21: Dr. Hou, chairman of the board of China Water Environment Group (CWEG) in Beijing, flew to Chengdu on 19/11/21 to meet with the research coordinator. Dr. Hou was very happy about the meeting and expressed the wish to realize the idea that the two sides developed together two years ago - founding an association under the WATCH umbrella in Germany - as soon as possible. The two sides have exchanged about the further procedure for this.

Conversation with the Department of International Cooperation of the SCU on 26/11/21: Dr. Zhang, SCU's Head of International Cooperation, welcomed the WATCH Research Coordinator on 26/11/21. He briefly described the development of WATCH to Zhang and reported on the goal of the visit in China. WATCH is in the final phase of BMBF funding and is to be continued as a regular institution with positions on the Chinese side, which was anchored in the bilateral agreement between the two universities.

Coordination and participation in the web workshop on setting up a testing platform for decentralized sewage treatment plants on December 1st, 2021: The planned face-to-face event in Beijing has been cancelled. Through coordination from Dr. Pang of the company China Water Environment Group (CWEG) and the WATCH research coordinator, the web workshop on setting up a testing platform for decentralized sewage treatment plants was held online on 01/12/21. Dr. Li from CWEG presented a concept for setting up a testing platform for decentralized sewage treatment plants at the Hangkonggang sewage treatment plant in Chengdu. Mr. Zhang, managing director of the sewage treatment plant, then gave various remarks regarding the operation of the sewage treatment plant. Then there was an intensive discussion. Finally, the WATCH research coordinator also made his suggestions for concept improvement. Dr. Li will revise the concept afterwards. He very much hopes to be able to catch up on the training program at the Testing Institute for Wastewater Technology GmbH in Aachen (PIA GmbH) in 2022 that he had already planned before the corona pandemic.
By this China mission of the WATCH research coordinator, the trust and contacts between the WATCH partners can be further expanded and intensified. Thanks to the support of all partners in China, the trip was very successful and the expectations of the trip were more than met.

Workshop on 08/10/21 at the WATCH location

Lecture event on 16/11/21 at SCU

Web-Workshop on setting up a testing platform for decentralized sewage treatment plants on 01/12/21