Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is an internationally networked aquatic research institute within the ETH Domain (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology). Eawag conducts research, education and expert consulting to achieve the dual goals of meeting direct human needs for water and maintaining the function and integrity of aquatic ecosystems.
The Department of Process Engineering (Eng) is looking for a
Master Student/ Intern in Biological Wastewater Treatment
Background: Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) is a promising technology for the treatment of municipal wastewaters and an advancement over conventional activated sludge systems. Aerobic granules are dense aggregates with diameter larger than 250µm and characterized by high settling velocity values. A key advantage of AGS over conventional activated sludge systems is that simultaneous carbon/nitrogen/phosphorus removal can be achieved at high volumetric loads in a single reactor due to the existence of different redox zones within the granules. Additional advantages also include: fast settling velocity (i.e. easier separation between the treated water and the biomass), high biomass concentration and thus reduced reactor volume, and lower energy-demand.

Many studies performed at the laboratory-scale using synthetic wastewater helped to advance our understanding of AGS formation mechanisms. Several factors that influence granulation were identified: hydrodynamic shear force, feast–famine regime, feeding strategy, etc. However, very little information is available regarding the mechanisms and kinetics of granulation during treatment of real municipal wastewaters. Real municipal wastewaters indeed contain very little volatile fatty acids (VFA) and a large fraction of organic substrates in the particulate form (XB). Recent studies performed at Eawag suggested that the physical properties and performances of AGS fed with real municipal influent significantly differ from the ones of AGS fed with synthetic influent. The main objective thus is to evaluate the link between the influent composition, the microbial/physical structure and activity of AGS, and ultimately the operation and performances of AGS systems.

We are looking for a student to conduct an experimental master thesis or internship to study the link between influent composition, microbial structure and activity of AGS.

Suitable candidates should have interests in technologies for biological wastewater treatment and microbial processes applied to wastewater treatment. You should have expertise in environmental science, process engineering and/or microbiology. The thesis requires lab work on lab-scale reactors treating real and synthetic wastewaters.

The preferred starting date is October/November 2017. Financial support for accommodation will be provided.

For further information please contact Manuel Layer (manuel.layer@eawag.ch).

We look forward to receiving your application. Please submit your application - including a letter of interest, curriculum vitae and copies of your academic qualifications - via the Eawag Jobs & Career webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. Please click on the button below, this will take you directly to the application form.
Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology