Research and educational background of the partners
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) is the leading university in Norway, having produced 50-65% of all master level graduates in water & wastewater engineering nationwide over the past 10 years. At present, one bachelor course (THT271) and two master level courses (THT310 and THT 311) address the membrane processes. Master research thesis work on membrane processes (5 months) have been carried out over the past five years. As of last year, the focus on membrane processes significantly strengthened through additions to the research group. Two Postdocs and one PhD fellow, all in membrane processes. Removal of arsenic and other heavy metals from polluted drinking water, enhancement of the separation process in biological wastewater processes, reduction of fouling potential etc. are the focal points in ongoing research projects.
The University of British Columbia (UBC) offers two course-based degrees, MEng and MEL, and two research-based degrees, MSc and PhD, in eight areas of specialization, at the graduate level. The graduate program in Environmental Engineering allows students to focus in Pollution Control and Waste Management, where three courses addressing membrane processes are offered: Membrane Technologies for Water and Wastewater Treatment (CIVL 598), Physical – Chemical Processes for Water and Wastewater Treatment (CIVL 565), Water Treatment and Waste Management (CIVL 406). The Filtration Technology Group, which is a part of the Pollution Control and Waste Management Group at the Department of Civil Engineering, develops state-of-the-art knowledge, tools and processes to advance the field of membrane processes, and provides opportunities for training future leaders in the field of membrane engineering and research. The present membrane processes related research focus on Hydrodynamic optimization of membrane systems; Fluid dynamics; Membrane autopsy; Membrane material weathering/ageing, Membrane cleaning, Hybrid UF Membrane Process (adsorption, biofiltration, oxidation); Passive membrane systems and Seawater UF/NF.
University of Washington (UW), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (UW CEE) offers on-campus master’s degree programs in six specialty areas, and three online master’s degrees. The department also has two PhD programs in Environmental Engineering and Hydrology & Hydrodynamics. Both undergraduate and graduate level courses at UW CEE address membrane issues. Such classes include CEE357 Introduction to Environmental Engineering, CEE 483 Drinking Water Treatment, CEE544 Physical-Chemical Treatment Processes and CEE549 Advanced Topics in Environmental Engineering. One of the major directions of research at the CEE department is membrane treatment of wastewater and drinking water, with particular emphasis on approaches to characterize and prevent membrane fouling, combining conventional coagulation and membrane filtration processes. The research group is well known for developing a novel pre-coating procedure of membranes modified with Heated Aluminium Oxide Particles for NOM removal. This approach results in significant increases of the capacity of MF while reducing the fouling potential.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University currently (MSU) offers six advanced-degree programs including the MS and Ph.D. in both civil and environmental engineering as well as interdisciplinary MS degrees with urban studies. Graduate programs focus on the treatment technologies and processes that affect the fate, effects, and movement of contaminants in the environment and on understanding the theory and design of water and wastewater treatment processes and facilities. Membrane science and technology is addressed in two courses – Membrane Processes (ENE811) and Physicochemical Processes in Environmental Engineering (ENE802). Funded by U.S. NSF, U.S. EPA and WERF, most recent projects in this area are on the removal and inactivation of viruses, membrane separation of liquid-liquid emulsions and membrane fouling, including fundamental studies of related phenomena and development of materials-based and process-based solutions for fouling control.
The Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University (HU) offers an environmental engineering program (Master and PhD level) that includes 10 credits covering water and wastewater treatments. Membrane technology for water and wastewater treatment is addressed in the program. Particularly, Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse (34001) deals with various aspects of membrane technology. The research group Laboratory on Engineering for Sustainable Sanitation has extensive research experience on application of membrane technology to water and wastewater treatment. They possess pilot-scale apparatuses installed at existing water/wastewater treatment plants and have conducted research on membrane fouling mitigation, identification and characterization of foulants and energy saving for the operation of membrane bioreactor systems. The ongoing research activities focus on Membrane autopsy; Fouling analysis; NOM characterization; Optimization of pre-treatment for MF/UF. They have strong industrial collaborations with Asahi Kasei; Meidensya; Organo Cooperations.
Qingdao Technological University offers two master-level courses that address membrane processes for wastewater treatment – Reclaimed water treatment and water reuse (144 hours) and Nitrogen and phosphorous removal from wastewater (100 hours). Research projects relate with municipal & industrial wastewater treatment and reuse, focusing on Membrane Bioreactor Technology and Membrane Filtration Technology. Membrane fouling characterization and control is a research focus. Effects of bio-carriers on membrane fouling mitigation in Moving Bed Membrane Bioreactors and research on enzymes to improve biological processes in cold climates are other research focus areas.