Brown and Caldwell’s Michael Karl recognized for digital twin architecture leadership

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Award celebrates contributions toward revolutionary digital water technology

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Brown and Caldwell announced Michael Karl has been recognized by The Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN) with an Outstanding Leadership Award for his contributions toward advancing digital twin architecture, a breakthrough optimization technology for the water industry.

Karl received the award for leading a SWAN panel of worldwide digital technologists, modeling experts, and engineers from 2019 through 2020 to develop the industry-first reference architecture for digital twin. The architecture serves as a base map for utilities on planning and implementing digital twins and continues to be referenced throughout the industry today.

The leading global hub for the smart water sector, SWAN, is a non-profit that brings together leading international water utilities, solution providers, academics, investors, regulators, and other industry experts to accelerate the awareness and adoption of data-driven solutions in water and wastewater networks globally.

Karl’s achievement was formally announced during SWAN’s recent virtual Smart Water Week.

“We are pleased to reward Michael’s significant contributions to the advancement of the water industry, not to mention his dedication as a global volunteer and leader in the fast-growing SWAN Digital Twin Work Group, where he passionately supports SWAN’s mission to accelerate data-driven solutions,” said SWAN Executive Director Amir Cahn.

In the water industry, a digital twin is a water system or asset replicated in an interactive virtual environment. In near-real-time, a digital twin is a dynamic representation of a real-world system used to describe, diagnose, predict, and optimize through actions enabled by a combination of models and data, both static and dynamic. Benefits include accurately predicting and preparing for seasonal or climate-driven changes in conditions; cataloging and analyzing asset and operations health to optimize operational and utility investments; and simulating “what-if” scenarios for training in a safe environment without risk to personnel, infrastructure, or compliance.

Long-term benefits include enhancing water reuse, wastewater, and drinking water systems through improved planning, continuity of service, cost savings, and asset management strategies.

Karl has been providing automation and digitization services to the water industry for over 20 years. As Brown and Caldwell National Optimization Services Leader, he works with the firm’s optimization team to help utility operators work with digital twins as their reliable “co-pilot.” This allows decision-makers to shift from burdensome data crunching, enabling them to view the system holistically and keep essential infrastructure performing effectively and without incident.

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