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Young professionals exchange about water issues

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Published on Tuesday, 25 February 2020

On 12-14 February 2020, the University of Luxembourg hosted the sixth edition of the Young Water Professionals BeNeLux conference. More than 150 students, researchers, professors and professionals under 35 from all over the world attended the event on Limpertsberg campus to tackle the future of water management.

For the first time, the Young Water Professionals (WWP) BeNeLux conference was organised at the University of Luxembourg by the urban water management research group led by Joachim Hansen, professor at the University of Luxembourg. “There are no strangers here only friends you haven't yet met”, says Prof. Hansen.

Fruitful discussions on water treatment

During three days, discussions focused on a wide range issues grouped around six main topics: modelling and simulation; water management and sustainability, advances wastewater treatment processes, biological wastewater treatment, resource recovery, industrial wastewater and nutrient removal.

In addition, several keynote speakers from academia, policy makers and industry presented their views, findings or applications. From policy makers, Luc Zwank, Deputy Director of the Water Management Authority in Luxembourg addressed the challenges of micropollutants, circular economy and climate change while Marco Beros, Senior Expert Water Division at the European Investment Bank (EIB) presented the challenges of EU’s water sector from the financier’s perspective.

From academia, Christa McArdell, senior scientist at Eawag highlighted the Swiss approach to reduce micropollutants in wastewater; Jan Vymazal, Professor at Czech University gave a deep insight in the application of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment; Eveline Volcke, Professor at Ghent University, focused on modelling wastewater treatment processes while Paul Wilmes, Professor at the University of Luxembourg, focused on system biology in wastewater treatment processes. On top of that, Jan Dries, Professor at the University of Antwerp underlined how to bring innovative bioprocesses to industrial applications and Heidrun Steinmetz, Professor at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern together with Joachim Hansen, presented the business opportunities for carbon-based materials from sewage.

From industry, Ulrich Bäuerle, Chief Technology Officer at Apateq, demonstrated innovative technologies to deliver environmental benefits and Tania Fernances, researcher at NIOO-KNAW, presented microalgae-bacteria communities for resources recovery.

Awards for best presentations

Different young researchers have been rewarded for their excellent work: 

Alongside the scientific conference, participants had the opportunity to learn more about Luxembourg with different activities such as a guided tour as well as wine and cheese tasting.

About the Urban Water Management Group

The group on urban water management is part of the Department of Engineering within the University of Luxembourg. It gives special emphasis to the optimisation of treatment processes in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and the increase of energy efficiency of wastewater treatment processes. The research focus of the group is of fundamental and applied nature with a special focus on “energy and environment” and “sustainable use of resources”. Within the last years, numerous projects were carried out in Europe together with national and international partners with a special focus on energy in the Urban Water Cycle, Micropollutant removal in wastewater treatment plants and the sustainable use of water and resources.