Prof. Willy Verstraete. "Anaerobic Digestion: about Beauty and Consolation"

Welcome plenary. Tuesday 25th, 18:15-19:00


Prof. Willy Verstraete graduated in 1968 from the Gent University as bio-engineer. In 1971, he obtained a PhD degree in the field of microbiology at the Cornell University, Ithaca (USA). Since 1971, he worked at the Gent University, in the Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology (LabMET - Faculty of Bioscience Engineering).
His R&D has as central theme “Microbial Resource Management”, i.e. the design, operation and control of processes mediated by mixed microbial cultures. He has field experience with respect to drinking water production plants (slow sand filtration), aerobic wastewater treatment (nitrification-denitrification), anaerobic digestion of wastewaters and sludges, solid state fermentation of organic residues and bioremediation processes of soils and sediments. He has also gained experience in various aspects of pre- and probiotics used in human and animal nutrition and in systems which simulate the latter. He received the Comité of IAWQ prize for the design of a treatment plant dealing with concentrated wastewaters; the Technological Institute of the Royal Society of Flemish Engineers prize for his work in the field of anaerobic digestion; the Altran prize (France) for his research about nitrogen removal technologies in wastewaters; the prestigious Five Yearly Prize of the National Science Foundation (Belgium); the Imhoff Award for his contribution in the domain of water biotreatment by IWA and the 'Excellence in Review' award by the scientific journal 'Environmental Science and Technology'. He was awarded the Francqui chair at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), nominated member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium, received a 10 years appointment as Honorary Professor in the Advanced Wastewater Management Centre of the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia), awarded the Francqui chair at the Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux (Belgium), received from the Chinese Academy of Applied Sciences at Shenyang the “Einstein Professorship” for his achievements in the domain of environmental sciences. He has been instrumental in the creation of several successful spin-offs, both in Belgium and abroad in the field of applied microbial ecology (environmental technology; health; food and feed).

Prof. Lutgarde Raskin. "Microbial ecology of engineered anaerobic bioreactor systems"

Wednesday 26th, 08:30-09:15


Dr. Lutgarde Raskin has been a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan since 2005. She was a faculty member at the University of Illinois from 1993-2005, where she obtained her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering in 1993. She combines genomics based methods with bioprocess engineering and mathematical modeling tools to study biological water and waste treatment technologies with a focus on anaerobic systems. Professor Raskin has served as the research advisor and mentor of approximately 60 graduate students, including 18 Ph.D. students, and 11 postdoctoral researchers. She is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and received the Paul L. Busch Award for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research from the Water Environment Research Foundation, the American Society of Civil Engineers Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Frontier Award in Research for “Advancing the environmental engineering and science field through recognized research leadership and pioneering efforts in a new and innovative research area”. Professor Raskin has authored or co-authored over 100 journal papers and 260 conference proceedings papers and abstracts. She has given about 60 invited lectures at other universities and at national/international meetings.

Dr. Jos Paquês. "How to advance from the concept to the industrial application of new technologies"

Thursday 27th, 08:30-09:15


Jos H.J. Pâques (1948) founder and major shareholder of Paques Holding B.V., was President of Paques from 1973 to October 1, 2002. As of last mentioned date he joined the supervisory board of Paques. In addition, he will continue to act as Director of External Affairs for Paques. In this capacity he is in charge of the realization of several special projects and involved in the activities of Paques in China.
Jos Pâques is an entrepreneur with a strong market orientation and a good sense of potential market opportunities. Paques has developed and produced high-quality, cost-effective purification systems for water, gasses and air, using innovative biotechnology. Paques has a worldwide network of 20 carefully selected licensees. Through its subsidiaries, Paques Environmental Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. in China, Paques Brasil Sistemas para Tratamento de Efluentes Ltda in Brazil and Paques Canada Inc. in Canada, Paques is active in all major markets in the world.
On January 10, 2012 Jos Pâques received an honorary doctorate from the Delft University of Technology.
Besides his position at Paques, Jos Pâques is active in several other Dutch companies:
- Member supervisory board Paques Holding B.V.
- Member supervisory board Paques Environmental Technology (Shanghai) Ltd. Co.
- Member supervisory board Royal De Kuyper B.V.
- Chairman supervisory board Water Recreation Company Heeg
- Member Netherlands Academy of Technology and Innovation
- Member executive board of The Salvage Tugboat Holland Foundation
- Member Advisory Board World Waternet
- Member Advisory Board Stichting Friesche Compagnie
- Member supervisory board Douma Staal Sneek
- Member Scientific Advisory Board University Campus Fryslân

Prof. Rolando Chamy. "Anaerobic digestion to decrease carbon footprint"

Friday 28th, 10:00-10:45


Rolando Chamy is a Biochemical Engineer with a minor in Biochemical Engineering (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso), and has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering of the University of Santiago de Compostela. He is a full professor of the School of Biochemical Engineering at the PUCV, and holds the professorship of Environmental Engineering, Bioreactors, and Process Calculation since 1990. His main research lines are biological treatment of solid, liquid and gaseous effluents, environmental biotechnology, anaerobic digestion and enzyme biotechnology. He is the author of more than 80 ISI publications, and made more than 300 presentations at national and international conferences. He is also a founding member of the Spanish Society of Biotechnology, Director of the Inter-American Association of Sanitary Engineering (AIDIS), and member of the Board of the IWA Anaerobic Digestion Specialist Group. He has been a leading researcher, participating within the last 20 years in more than 50 research projects and in 80 consultancy firms. In 2004, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, of the PUCV, where, in addition to his teaching work, he was also the Director of the Unit of Technical Assistance of the School of Biochemical Engineering at the same university, a position under which he had the opportunity to advise numerous firms of the environmental area, as well of other areas related to process engineering. He is currently the Director of the Biotechnology Core Curauma, which is part of the PUCV.