Doctoral dissertation Chaïm De Mulder - Tying up loose ends: optimization of data treatment and hydrodynamic model structure of the Eindhoven wastewater treatment plant model

Defense photo

BIOMATH is proud to announce that Chaïm De Mulder successfully defended his Doctoral Thesis. In his PhD, Ir. Chaïm De Mulder closely collaborated with Waterboard De Dommel (The Netherlands), leading to a research project with a direct link to applications and potential for decision support. The main outcomes are the publication of a data analysis python package that is openly available and the proof of concept of a dynamic compartmental modelling structure to improve the way hydrodynamics are modeled in dynamic wastewater treatment plant models.

Next to his research activities, Chaïm was also involved as a board member in the Belgian branch of the International Water Assocation (IWA) and as a Young Water Professional in the Management Committee of the Modelling and Integrated Assessment group of IWA.

Abstract: In the context of the European Water Framework Directive, that demands a good water quality of all European surface waters, Waterboard De Dommel, in charge of the Eindhoven WWTP started a collaborative e↵ort to reach the required quality level in the Dommel river. The collaboration with the BIOMATH research group has over the past 12 years led to the development of a model of the plant, mathematically describing the processes taking place. Although this model has truly proven its value in terms of knowledge acquisition and decision support in the latest years, the involved experts agree that, in order to reach more advanced modeling objectives (e.g. correct dynamic predictions during wet weather events), more incremental improvements to the model are required. This thesis acknowledges this observation and approaches the necessary improvements from two sides, each described in their dedicated part. A first part focuses on providing knowledge and tools that allow to improve the further (incremental) development of the model, the second one describes one of those model structure improvements that are expected to be highly relevant.

Dissertation Supervisors: 

  • Prof. dr. ir. Ingmar Nopens, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Dr. ir. Youri Amerlinck, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium

Examination Committee:

  • Prof. dr. ir. Korneel Rabaey (Chairman), CMET research group, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University
  • Prof. dr. Jan Verwaeren, Kermit Research group, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University
  • Dr. ir. Stefan Weijers, Manager Policy and Innovation, Waterboard De Dommel, The Netherlands
  • Prof. dr. ir. Olivier Potier, Universitee de Lorraine, France
  • Prof. dr. Ramon Ganigue, CMET Research group, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University
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