Chicago Water Week Virtual Panel: "Smart Lake Erie Watershed - Driving Economic Development Through Innovation"

May 7, 2024
1:00 pm
May 7, 2024
2:00 pm
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Chicago Water Week Virtual Panel: "Smart Lake Erie Watershed - Driving Economic Development Through Innovation"

Chicago Water Week Virtual Panel: "Smart Lake Erie Watershed - Driving Economic Development Through Innovation"

May 7th, 2024 12-1pm CST/1-2pm EST



Cleveland Water Alliance has outfitted the Lake Erie Watershed with a state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure and hundreds of IoT sensors, making it the largest digitally connected freshwater body in the world. This network provides robust operational data to institutions and communities while also serving as a platform for trialing and commercializing breakthrough water industry solutions.

In this virtual panel discussion, industry, utility, and research leaders will explore how the power of water data drives innovation, economic development, and protection of our natural resources. What lessons can we learn from the "Smart Lake Erie Watershed" and how could we scale them across the Great Lakes? Tune in to find out!

Background: Chicago Water Week convenes a variety of events, each independently organized and hosted by Current’s partner organizations, that highlight the critical role of water in our environment, communities, and economy. The series aims to connect regional leaders, innovators, researchers, advocates, and industry veterans around business, social, technical, policy interests, and more!


Aaron Klien

Director of Public Works | City of Sandusky

Aaron Klein is the director of public works and city engineer for the City of Sandusky, which is uniquely positioned on the cusp of the western Lake Erie basin. In addition to serving as a civil and environmental engineer for over 20 years, he is currently managing several water quality projects, including the Cedar Point Wetlands project that aims to restore and enhance water quality, reduce nutrient loadings and restore wildlife habitat in Sandusky Bay; the Mills High Rate Treatment project that will significantly reduce overflow volumes from Sandusky’s combined sewer system; and design and construction of Landing Park, a 27-acre nature space nestled along the bay behind Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center.

Robert (Bob) Davis

President | Aqua Ohio

Robert L. Davis leads Aqua Ohio’s strategic, operational, and administrative activities for Aqua Ohio’s 34 water and 7 wastewater treatment facilities. He transitioned to the role of Ohio’s president in January of 2021. Davis came to Aqua after serving as the City of Cleveland’s director of public utilities for six years. While at the City of Cleveland, he was responsible for more than 1,700 employees and a $660M operating budget, and leading operations for Cleveland Water, Cleveland Water Pollution Control and Cleveland Public Power. Davis began his career in 1986 as a laborer at the Warren, Ohio utility services department. He was promoted to several roles during his tenure, including plant operator, superintendent of water treatment and distribution. In 1993 he also served as the superintendent of water treatment and distribution for the City of Campbell.  He later served as director of utility services for the City of Warren from 2002-2015 where he was responsible for water, sewer, sanitation and stormwater. Davis earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from West Virginia University. He currently holds an EPA Class IV water supply certification and an EPA Class II certification in water distribution. He was past president of the Ohio American Water Works Association (OAWWA). He was the 2019 recipient of the Ohio AWWA George Warren Fuller Award.

Emily Hamilton

Innovation Advocate & Deal Flow Analyst | Cleveland Water Alliance

Emily Hamilton is a relationship management professional with a strong background in software and B2b services. Beginning her career in the start-up world, she excels in fast-paced environments and calls upon a blend of creative problem-solving and process development skills. She is passionate about identifying exciting technologies and assisting innovators in navigating stakeholder interests and the broader innovation ecosystem.

Ken Gibbons

Environmental Scientist | LimmoTech

Ken Gibbons joined LimnoTech in February 2022 as an Environmental Scientist. Ken specializes in limnology, where much of his work has focused on eutrophication in the Great Lakes. Before coming to LimnoTech, Ken was a Senior Program Specialist at the Great Lakes Commission, working on various programs in the water quality area. Ken has worked on research surrounding HABs and the development of collaborative products used to inform managers and decision-makers. At LimnoTech, Ken works on developing, deploying, and maintaining water quality sensors. He has a Master of Science degree in Biology from the University of Toledo and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology with a minor in Environmental Geology from Albion College.

Kerry Caslow

Application Development Manager | In-Situ, Inc.

Kerry Caslow has been dedicated to the hydrology field for the last fourteen years and strives to help others understand their water quality and level equipment in order to achieve the highest quality data possible. Kerry received a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from The Georgia Institute of Technology. It was here that she found her passion for field work and hydrology through several of her field-based classes and undergraduate research. After graduation, she was employed by the U.S. Geological Survey on an urban hydrology team, which focused on continuous monitoring and sampling to determine the effects of surface runoff on local watersheds. At the USGS, she regularly instructed others on proper field methodologies based on national guidelines and developed the electronic surface-water water-quality sampling program now standardized nationally. As an Application Development Manager, she frequently assists customers through hands-on trainings, webinars, and written technical and informational documents, while also maintaining demonstration sites used for testing new products related to new and continuing product development.


Samantha Martin

Director of Communications and Engagement | Cleveland Water Alliance

Samantha blends a background of stewarding partnerships, process creation, and mission-based storytelling. She is passionate about engaging in her local community and holds a BA from Baldwin-Wallace College in Public Relations and Political Science.