Watershape University
International Watershape Institute (IWI)


The International Watershape Institute (IWI) provides principled leadership for Watershape University faculty, the Institute and the entire pool, spa and aquatics industry. We drive outreach efforts, culture and passion through events outside of Watershape University.

Some of these extracurricular events are educational but mostly the focus is on improving the pool, spa and aquatics industry through social and philanthropic endeavors, raising money for the Live Blue Foundation and teaming up with A/E/C related associations and institutes.

International Watershape Institute (IWI) leadership is provided through all of its teammates but those listed in the roster below drive our principles, policies and priorities.


Candidates for the IWI team are verified through a process that can take weeks or several months depending on how much coaching is required of the existing leaders. Coaching is helpful to the candidates so that they actually practice what we teach – putting our Technical Papers into action.

Some coaching is directed at manufacturers who seek the clear expertise of the IWI team when considering new product development or existing product enhancement – after all, who better to help with the future of a product than the team that is on the leading edge of technology. We build the most challenging projects and push the limits of design, engineering and construction practices so it is important that the long-term service and maintenance of our watershapes is supported with robust products.

International Watershape Institute (IWI) Certification

The International Watershape Institute (IWI) credential honors the VWP team that verifiably practices what Watershape University professes: quality design, engineering, construction and business practices. Candidates are coached by existing IWI teammates while qualifications are verified through a rigorous vetting system.


  • EXP 1322: How IWI Benefits You and the Industry (1 hour lecture)
  • EXP 3521: Live Blue Foundation Volunteer (24 hour), or equal
  • EXP 4311: IWI Candidate Coaching Prep Course (1 hour lecture)
  • EXP 5331: IWI Candidate Coaching (24 hour contract)
  • 24 hours of electives
  • 20 hours of continuing education every 2 years

Dean of Culture

Culture is an important theme of any university. It is so important to Watershape University that we have dedicated a Dean of Culture to drive initiatives that will preserve and promote our team, including students of WU, faculty, our hosts and engagement teams.

Michael Nantz, IWI is the Dean of Culture. His team includes Eric Herman and Lauren Stack. Mike’s information is listed in the roster below.


Position Statements

Grant’s Grants

Blue Mind

Blue Mind Book by Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D.

Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do

Dr. Wallace “J” Nichols is celebrating ten years since his national bestseller, Blue Mind, explained the surprising science that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do. The International Watershape Institute looks forward to working with “J” to support his Blue Mind Summit and exposing his leadership to the pool, spa and aquatics industry. #bluemind

Institute and Association Outreach

The International Watershape Institute (IWI) unites with related A/E/C communities including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), American Concrete Institute (ACI) and American Shotcrete Association (ASA) to educate their members and bring their education to our students.

Additionally, through IWI leadership, in cooperation with “Ask the Masters”, will be utilizing LinkedIn as a valuable route to reaching the professional community of architects, landscape architects, designers and engineers.

IWI Leadership Team