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 is looking for a
Master Student 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 velocities. 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 (anaerobic) – famine (aerobic) regime, feeding strategy, etc. However, very little information is available regarding the mechanisms 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 physical retention and microbial conversion mechanisms of XB in AGS systems, and its subsequent effects on sludge morphology, microbial activities and ultimately the operation and performances of AGS systems.

We are looking for a student to conduct an experimental master thesis to study the effect of particulate substrate (XB) on AGS systems.

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

The anticipated starting date March/April 2018. Application should include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae and copies of academic qualifications.

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

We look forward to receiving your application. Please submit your application through 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