View this email in your browser

Dear readers of the Sanitary Engineering Newsletter,

The academic year has already started and the great summer of 2018 has been absorbed into our collective memory. Although there was no droplet of rain, water managers received a lot of interest this summer. Now with the question: "how do we deal with water that is not there?". We let the lawns dry up and Zuid-Holland again got an extra fresh surface water supply. It was very reassuring that the drinking water supply could continue to be guaranteed every second in this summer and that there were no significant problems (with the exception of a few skippers who were stuck in the beautiful Hanseatic city of Deventer). We are apparently doing well! In any case, we know why we deliver new sanitary engineers and water managers with so much enthusiasm ...
Once again, there is a lot of interest in our programs and more than 100 new MSc students have been enrolled in our courses. The MSc track Water Management welcomed almost 60 new students and the MSc track Environmental Engineering almost 50. And again, the international interest in our programs is very high. In addition, this year, the intake of (Dutch) bachelor students Civil Engineering reached a record with 449!
Once every five years, our research activities are assessed by an international commission commissioned by the VSNU. Research groups are assessed on "scientific quality", "social relevance", and "viability" on a scale of 1 to 4. Last months it was our turn and we can proudly announce to you that the Water Management Department was awarded three times "excellent". For a complete report click here.
At the start of the present academic year, we want to firmly focus on the further development and sustainability of our urban water infrastructure. We would like to introduce our new colleague Prof. dr. Zoran Kapelan, who recently has been appointed full-time professor of Urban Water Infrastructure in our group. Prof. dr. Kapelan previously was full professor at the University of Exeter and formerly a renowned consultant in the field.
Our Newsletter is again full of new projects, final promotions, students who travel abroad to gather or apply knowledge, student activities, awards, scientific workshops, etc.
We wish you lots of reading pleasure and we would like to see you again at the Vakantiecursus (11 January 2019), with a beautiful and inspiring program.

Jules van Lier


12 September 2018

 9 November 2018

14 November 2018

28 November 2018

14 December 2018


Building 23 - KG 02.110 13:30 - 16:30 Workshop Networkgroup Industry Water, student pitches
Building 20 - Aula 10:00 PhD defense Maarten Keuten
Online course :
Building 20 - Aula 10:30 PhD defense Juan Pablo Gutierrez Marin
Building 20 - Aula 12.30 PhD defense Jink Gude

New colleagues

Professor Zoran Kapelan joins Sanitary Engineering group

I am delighted to announce that I have joined the Sanitary Engineering Group at TU Delft on 1st September 2018 as a Chair in Urban Water Infrastructure. Prior to joining TU Delft I was a Head of the Water and Environment Group at the University of Exeter in the UK. Overall, I have 29 years of research and consulting experience in water engineering.
My research interests and expertise are centred on the development of novel engineering and informatics based methods and technologies addressing a wide range of issues across the urban water cycle, especially challenges related to water and wastewater infrastructure systems. Example areas of research include smart water and wastewater systems and related technologies, integrated water management and planning based on nexus and circular economy thinking, water leakage, discolouration, operational system optimisation, adaptation to climate change, asset management, sustainable drainage systems and flood risk management, to name but a few. 
My work is already resulting in significant impact in the engineering practice. For example, I have pioneered the award winning technology for automated detection of pipe bursts and other events in distribution systems by using Artificial Intelligence and big data analytics to process pressure and flow sensor data in near real-time. This technology is now used companywide in United Utilities in the UK reducing the risk of supply interruptions to its over 7 million customers and resulting in major operational cost savings.
I have led / was an investigator on many UK, EU and other research projects and grants. Most of these projects were co-funded or involved directly water industry as I like addressing real-life challenges. I am an IWA Fellow, Fellow of CIWEM, member of the EWRI Emerging and Innovative Technologies Task Committee and multiple IWA specialist and other groups. I am currently serving as an Associate Editor for the Water Resources Research and Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management (ASCE). I have (co)supervised over 20 postdocs and 30 PhD students since 2005. I have given many keynotes and invited talks around the world and have (co)authored over 350 technical publications.
If you would like to learn more about my work and/or discuss a potential collaborative research project I would be very happy to have a chat with you, just email ( or call me (+31 (0)15 2788578)!

Zoran Kapelan

New Lab technician Patricia van den Bos

My name is Patricia van den Bos, here to join your team as a laboratory technician. I will start working on the ICP-Ms and the isotope analyser.
I did my bachelors degree on “Hogeschool Utrecht”. I first worked and did my graduated program at TNO on CO2 combustion. How we can reduce the CO2 emission of energy companies using amines.
After I got my bachelor I started working for Shell. Main focus was cEOr. We tried to recover more Oil by reducing the interfacial tension between water and oil. Using surfactants and polymers to obtain this effect.

Patricia van den Bos


Research projects

Wastewater microbes survived Space travel! Have you ever wondered if wastewater technology is also suited when humans start inhabitating Space? 

Long-term human Space missions depend on regenerative life support systems (RLSS) to produce food, water and oxygen from waste and metabolic products. Microbial biotechnology is efficient for nitrogen conversion, with nitrate or nitrogen gas as desirable products. A prerequisite to bioreactor operation in Space is the feasibility to reactivate cells exposed to microgravity and radiation. In this study, microorganisms capable of essential nitrogen cycle conversions were sent on a 44-days FOTON-M4 flight to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and exposed to 10-3-10-4 g (gravitational constant) and 687 ± 170 µGy (Gray) d-1 (20 ± 4oC), about the double of the radiation prevailing in the International Space Station (ISS). After return to Earth, axenic cultures, defined and reactor communities of ureolytic bacteria, ammonia oxidizing archaea and bacteria, nitrite oxidizing bacteria, denitrifiers and anammox bacteria could all be reactivated. Space exposure generally yielded similar or even higher nitrogen conversion rates as terrestrial preservation at a similar temperature, while terrestrial storage at 4°C mostly resulted in the highest rates. Refrigerated Space exposure is proposed as a strategy to maximize the reactivation potential. For the first time, the combined potential of ureolysis, nitritation, nitratation, denitrification (nitrate reducing activity) and anammox is demonstrated as key enabler for resource recovery in human Space exploration.
More details can be found in the full paper (
Ralph Lindeboom

Five years of working in Mozambique

My first Mozambique-based project will complete five years coming February 2019 and it’s now time to re-evaluate things and report back to NWO.
Southern Africa is not only lakes and lush rainforests, there’s plenty of desert and savannah and cyclic droughts and floods. This is, indeed, the case for Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Maputo is a relatively small African capital city, with little more than 2 million inhabitants, on the Indian Ocean and a major Delta for several large regional rivers – Maputo, Inkomati and Umbeluzi. However, despite so much water being “just there”, treating it and pumping it to people’s houses is not that easy, because the necessary infrastructure in not available. In fact, water restrictions lasted for several months this year with water being provided on alternate days for about 6 hours.
In addition I would argue that the main challenge is the city’s sanitation. Only 10% of the city’s population is covered by a sewer network that discharges 20,000 m3/day directly to Maputo bay, the rest of the produced wastewater entering the sewer system (5,000 m3/day) is conveyed to a wastewater treatment plant (four ponds) that have not been maintained in years, with the wastewater receiving very little treatment. The rest of the population makes use of domestic sanitation systems, typically latrines and septic tanks. These periodically pay to private operators to empty their systems, with about 2,000 m3 of fecal sludge arriving each day at the treatment plant. This means that the largest part of the produced wastewater and fecal sludge produced in Maputo receives no treatment and continuously pollutes water sources and the environment, in particular the domestic environment.

Caption: more than 90% of Maputo’s population makes use of on-site sanitation with a large part relying on communal sanitary blocks sometimes shared by more than 80 people.

Given this complex situation we started really ambitious: water reclamation is a (not the) possible solution. To NWO we proposed finding 100,000 m3/day of water for industries and farmers. However, we would not only look into technical aspects but also social ones, such as history, governance and politics of water and sanitation services.
Almost five years on I can tell you that we did not find the 100,000 m3 but we have shown that water reclamation in the context of a city like Maputo is technically possible, for example for the construction sector; we also have shown that existing domestic sanitation systems are a risk for the city’s groundwater sources and that alternatives to latrines and septic tanks (e.g. condominial sewers) should be tested. Furthermore, we have shown that the planned expansion of the water network will be insufficient to supply the growing demand in the coming decades. Also, our colleagues from the social side have been busy arguing that the existing inequalities in access to sanitation services in the city are (partially) founded and greatly resemble those found of the colonial period. Finally, and equally important, we  planted a seed for alternative and innovative approaches in the mind of the local water and sanitations sector. There’s now a core of people that also argue that it’s not possible to continuously look for “new sources” (desalination is a typical solution) and not question the present paradigm. We have to re-think our water uses, infrastructure planning, and produce integrated water and sanitation plans; we now hear about looking at the city as a system and about why and how to short-circuit the urban water cycle. I want to believe that we partially contributed to this change and maybe that’s what “research uptake” is all about: planting seeds in other people’s mind by questioning the status quo in public discussions by making use of logic and science, and, maybe the most important tip: never sell silver bullets.

André Marques Arsenio

Riverbank filtration in highly turbid rivers

This research began because of the need to look for technological alternatives to solve the water supply crisis in my hometown, Cali, Colombia, due to turbidity peaks and contamination events. In the pursuing of technical solutions, the riverbank filtration (RBF) has been considered as an alternative with a great potential to be applied in Cali, and many other locations in Colombia with similar characteristics.
RBF is a surface water filtration method for drinking water through the banks and bed of a river, using extraction wells located near the water body in order to ensure direct aquifer recharge. As the surface water travels through the sediments, contaminants, such as suspended and colloidal solids and pathogenic microorganisms, are removed. Apart from water quality improvement, RBF has the advantage of reducing peak concentrations which commonly pass through a river. The RBF technology has been proven in sources with poor water quality, but it has not been proven yet in highly turbid waters, in which the excessive transport of suspended sediments threatens sustainable operation. Clogging of both the riverbed and deeper aquifer may increase flow resistance, reducing water revenues over the course of time.
Juan Pablo Gutiérrez Marín is having his defense 28 november at 10.00 and the lean talk is starting at 9.30 in Aula TU Delft.

Arsenic removal in rapid sand filters

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element and according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is a health risk even at the very low concentrations. Therefore Dutch drinking water companies are better safe than sorry and have the desire to remove even the smallest traces of arsenic for their consumers. However, a cost-benefit analysis plays an important role here, because the currently available techniques are expensive or require the use of heavy and hazardous chemicals. That is why this research was completely focused on understanding arsenic mobility in rapid sand filters to develop better ways of removal. From the knowledge gained in extensive pilot plant experiments, we concluded that more arsenic can indeed be filtered from the groundwater in a sustainable and non-invasive way. For example by using smart process settings or slightly lowering the pH.
Jink Gude is having his defense at Friday 14 December at 12.30 the leantalk starts at 12.00 in the Aula.

Alternative pool water treatment and the influence of swimmers on pool water quality.

As swimmers enter a swimming pool, they release micro-organisms, particles and soluble substances. While chlorine is often used to inactivate micro-organisms, a side-effect of chlorination is the formation of unwanted disinfection by-products. In order to reduce these by-products, more knowledge is needed on the release of pollutants by bathers and the influence of treatment steps to remove them. Also alternative disinfection can be used to avoid the formation of these by-products. In this thesis, a shower cabin was used to investigate the release of pollutants by bathers. After showering, swimmers still release pollutants, the so-called submerged sweating. Experiments with standardised submerged exercises were done to determine this submerged sweating. It was found that for competition swimmers, 40% of the pollutants are released during swimming, 30% are due to not having a pre-swim shower and also 30% are due to not using the toilets.
UV-disinfection was chosen as alternative disinfection for swimming pools. The UV-treatment was combined with ultrafiltration for enhanced removal of particles and micro-organisms and biological filtration for removal of dissolved substances. The experiments show that biofilm formation as well as the microbial water quality was controlled with this alternative treatment, close to the biofilm formation and microbial water quality of chlorinated pool water. The use of biological filtration improved the removal of urea and the formation of nitrate in a chlorinated system, so biological filtration can be used to reduce the formation of unwanted disinfection by-products.

Maarten Keuten is having his Defense at 9 November 10.00 the leantalk starts at 9.30 in the Aula.

Nominations/ Awards

Cees Boeter Award 2018

The Department of Water Management is proud to announce the winner of the Cees Boeter Award for the best BSc thesis written in the 2017-2018 academic year.  As each year, we have been able to select three nominees from a highly competitive group of young researchers and designers with a huge variety of topics.  

Read more

IWA Project Innovation Award
Bronze winner with “Thermal Energy Recovery from Drinking Water: Exploitation of a Renewable Energy Source”.

At the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition 2018 the project “Thermal Energy Recovery from Drinking Water: Exploitation of a Renewable Energy Source” carried out by Delft University of Technology, Waternet and Sanquin, was awarded with the bronze prize in the category “Performance Improvement and Operational Solutions”. The official ceremony took place 17 September 2018, in Tokyo – Japan. The IWA Project Innovation Award recognizes and promotes excellence and innovation in water management, research and innovation.

Link to video for "IWA Project Innovation Award 2018

BIOENGINEERING – Watermanagement wins €10.000 for four interdisciplinary MSc projects

Delft Bioengineering Institute has awarded Marie-claire ten Veldhuis, Ralph Lindeboom (2x) and Doris van Halem with €10.000 for the execution of four interdisciplinary MSc projects. In total, BEI has granted 15 MSc projects that resulted from the networking event BioDate 2018 in March. About the Watermanagement projects:

Take a look at all the BioDate projects:



Graduation of the first student of the MSc track Environmental Engineering.
On 7-9-2018 Hon-Chuk Yu graduated as first MSc student who followed the MSc track Environmental Engineering within the MSc civil engineering. The title of his thesis was “Recovery of sodium sulphate from a reverse Osmosis concentrate of silica-industry wastewater by eutectic freeze crystallisation technology”. The MSc track Environmental Engineering started in 2016 and has two specialisations: Environmental Technology, studying topics dealing with the local influence and restoration of disturbed water and soil processes by technological interventions. This includes water technology for purification of drinking water and sewage, but also conversions in soil or separation of solid waste. The second specialisation is Environmental Science, in which environmental processes are described on a global scale, with special attention for climate change, air quality and urban hydrology.  5 different departments within 2 faculties TU Delft take care of the courses and thesis topics within this track. The thesis topic of Hon-Chuk is a good example of the collaboration between the Environmental Biotechnology (EBT) section at the faculty of Applied Science and the Sanitary Engineering section, since his thesis was mainly supervised by professor Gertjan Witkamp at EBT. Student numbers in this new MSc track are growing rapidly: in 2016 we started with 11 students, which extended to a total of 39 students in 2017 and we could welcome 46 students this academic year.  This growing number of students means a steady extra supply of new professionals, amongst others for the Dutch water sector, although Hon-Chuk will return to start his professional career in his home-town Hong-Kong: we wish him all the best and lots of success in his future life. The MSc defence of the second Environmental Engineering student graduating (“Fouling control in Ceremic NF-membrane” by Fajar Muhammad Rahman) was on Tuesday 25th of September.
Merle de Kreuk

After a presentation to be proud of, Hon-Chuk Yu the first Master Student of Environmental Engineering receives a bathrobe with embroidery.


Qiuman Tan; 
Potential impacts of supply water quality change on aged household connection pipes 

Eleftheria Chiou ; 
An improved model of calcium carbonate crystallization: An improved kinetics-model for the calcium carbonate crystallization in the fluidized bed softening reactors at the Weesperkarspel drinking water treatment plant.

Wyona Boers;
The corrosion behavior of mild steel in soft alkaline cooling water in relation to phosphorus-free corrosion inhibitors

Fajar Muhammad Rahman;
Fouling Control in Ceramic Nanofiltration Membrane
Tim van Dijk; 

Assessment of Fe(II), Fe(III) and NaMnO4 dosing for As removal <1 µg/L during aeration-filtration at WTP Prinsenbosch

First Environmental Engineering Master student :
Hon-Chuk Yu;  
Recovery of sodium sulphate from a reverse Osmosis concentrate of silica-industry wastewater by eutectic freeze crystallisation technology



Are you interested in the fascinating world of membrane technology in drinking water production and industrial water treatment? In this online course you will gain hands-on experience on water treatment with reverse osmosis. By the end of the course, after you have learnt how to design your own reverse osmosis unit, you will be able to better operate your own installations, and make better decisions about investment and maintenance. Enroll now to secure your place and join us on November 14!

Check out the trailer

Workshops/ Activities

World Water Day 2018 – Walk for Water

Raising awareness about water problems and supporting WASH in Ethiopia
Sophie Broere    –    Ruben van Dijk    –    Bas van Haaren    –    Tessa Jonker    -    Toan Nguyen
For the course CIE5421 “Water & Health” we supported World Water Day 2018. The aim was to focus attention on the importance of water. We did this by organizing actions at the Walk For Water event from the Nederlands Watermuseum. At this event, primary school children learned about global water issues and raised funds to help solve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) issues in Ethiopia.

Walk for Water
During the event around 400 children walked with 6 liters of water for 6 km to raise money for children in Ethiopia. In this way awareness was created about distances people have to walk for getting safe drinking water and that having drinking water out of your kitchen tap is not available everywhere. At the end of the day around €16,500 was raised, which is used to help about 1650 children in Ethiopia.

The answer is in the nature
The answer is in nature was the theme of the World Water Day 2018. To incorporate this theme in the Walk for Water event and create awareness about water quality, we build a natural water filter of sand, coarse gravel and fine gravel and showed the children how this improved water quality. And, since the children together walked with 2,500 L of water, we used this to raise awareness about our water footprint. 2500 L is the water footprint of one single cotton T-shirt. To make them aware of this, we made an air photo with the children in the form of a T-shirt and we shared the picture and  story with several social media and  the local newspaper. We also made a short movie about the day, which can be watched at


Workshop Industry Water by Henri Spanjers

On 12 September 2018 the Network Group Industry Water and the Industry Water  Group of the TU Delft Section Sanitary Engineering held a joint workshop on industry water.
The purpose of the workshop was to present the current MSc and PhD thesis research at the section, and to discuss opportunities for collaborative research.
The Network Group Industry Water consists of companies in the (petro)chemical sector, the food sector as well as energy and utility providers and aims to share and transfer knowledge. The group is managed by the KWR’s Industry, Wastewater & Reuse team (
The Industry Water group of Sanitary Engineering Section focuses on research and education on the treatment, use and reuse of water in the industry, including all water related issues, such as resource recovery, corrosion, scaling, fouling and conditioning.
The workshop was started off by Frank Oesterholt of KWR and Henri Spanjers of TU Delft to introduce the two groups. The main program of the workshop consisted of presentations by thesis students. Jasper Schakel presented his MSc research on an Adsorption-Desorption system for desalination based on residual heat. PhD candidate Victor Garcia Rea presented his work on the degradation of phenolic compounds in petrochemical wastewater by using an anaerobic membrane bioreactor, under extreme conditions, that is: high toxicity, temperature and salinity.  Dionysia Diamantidou discussed her MSc research on separation of monovalent and divalent ions in ion exchange regenerate by using different nano-filtration membranes. Two contributions were given from the Nitrogen to Power project: Niels van Linden discussed one topic of his PhD research: the recovery of ammonia by electrodialysis bipolar and stripping, and MSc student Lott Kattenberg presented her research on the use of vacuum membrane stripping of industrial wastewater for the production of ammonia fuel for solid oxygen fuel cells. Unfortunately MSc graduate Wyona Boers could not make it to deliver her presentation. Wyona studied the corrosion behavior of mild steel in soft alkaline cooling water. 
PDEng coordinator Amir Haidari concluded the presentations with information about the Professional Doctorate in Engineering programme at the TU Delft. This programme facilitates a unique collaboration between academic research and the industry on the postmaster level, and focusses on the design of specific water and environmental engineering solutions for companies.
Needless to say that the setting of this workshop turned out to be an excellent means to provoke lively discussion and to identify opportunities for research between the industry and university. Presentation of the Industry Water Group TU Delft to the Industry Water Network Group of KWR” a.s. 12 september.

Marc van Eekeren Reisfonds

The "Marc van Eekeren Reisfonds"  is a fund which gives financial support for TU Delft Bachelor students who want to do research abroad for Urban Watercycle research topics like : drinkingwater systems, drinkingwater production and transport and wastewater treatment and transport. 

The subsidy consists of a compensation for demonstrable travel costs for a maximum of 2 persons out of the same researchgroup. Some examples are : datacollection for a design of a waterplant installation of a sanitationproject, fieldwork to existing waterplants. The research at location can take place as part of a 2nd and 3rd year project, a (free) Minor project or a Bachelor endwork.

The coaching of the researchproject should be in sufficient. Students are allowed only once to use the fund.

Below the names of the students who have used the fund.
In the link below you can see the reports and foto's. 

Copyright ©2015 TU Delft, sectie Sanitary Engineering, All rights reserved.

Wilt u zich aanmelden voor de nieuwsbrief?

Wilt u de nieuwsbrief niet (meer) ontvangen?

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
TU Delft · Secretariaat Sanitary Engineering · Stevinweg 1 · Delft, Zh 2600 GA · Netherlands

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp