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Sanitary Engineering

The mission of the Sanitary Engineering Chair Group is to contribute to knowledge development and capacity building in the urban sanitation field; areas of interest include urban drainage, waste water collection, treatment and reclamation/reuse, and residuals management.

The Chair Group’s operations are positioned within an urban and peri-urban context and range from centralized to decentralized approaches, advanced versus low-cost technologies, and engineered versus natural systems. A unifying vision of these activities is integrated management of the urban water cycle.


Besides traditionally well-established research areas such as advanced nutrient removal processes and activated sludge modeling, the Sanitary Engineering Chair Group is becoming increasingly visible by carrying out research related to resources-oriented sanitation, membrane bio-reactors and water/wastewater infrastructure asset management.

A further focus is on integration of eco-structure and infrastructure for sustainable wastewater and stormwater management, sanitation provision to urban poor, operational and process troubleshooting, optimization of wastewater collection and treatment components, and integrated urban water infrastructure management.

The primary research drivers include urbanization, provision of adequate sanitation, closing the urban water cycle, climate change, selection of adequate technology for local conditions, infrastructure provision to urban poor, and achievement of the UN millennium development goals related to global provision of sanitation.

Given the general mission of the Institute, the Sanitary Engineering Chair Group also has a special obligation to develop and adapt technological solutions relevant to developing countries and countries in transition. Research activities embody experimental work at laboratory, pilot, and field scales as well as mathematical modeling work including decision support and process optimization in municipal and industrial applications.

The group has a strong research relationship with Delft University of Technology and a number of leading research groups worldwide. It is particularly keen on developing collaborative partnerships with academia and institutions from developing countries and it has a track record in cooperation with the Dutch wastewater industry.

Educational responsibilities center on the Sanitary Engineering Specialization – an integral part of the Masters Program in Urban Water and Sanitation, housed within the Environmental Engineering and Water Technology Department and accredited by the Foundation for Quality Assurance in Netherlands Universities (QANU). The Sanitary Engineering Chair Group maintains a leading role in delivering high quality postgraduate education in the field (both via regular programmes and distance learning courses), contributing to capacity building projects in the field, and delivering a number of tailor-made training courses for professionals from various developing and transition countries.

The group has a prominent role in developing innovative didactic approaches, student-centered learning and problem-driven education and research. Furthermore, it is recognized for its cutting-edge contribution to the development and delivery of online courses.

Staff members

PhD fellows