Keynote Speakers

Tuesday, 1 September

Success Stories in Nutrient Removal from around the World

Melbourne Case

Jenelle Watson is currently Manager Treatment and Resources at Melbourne Water and is responsible for the short and long-term growth and compliance planning for Melbourne Water’s wastewater treatment plants, resource recovery and emissions reduction. Jenelle was instrumental in Melbourne Water’s carbon emissions reduction pledge and the Melbourne Sewerage Strategy, both of which will drive a transformational change in the way we think about wastewater treatment and resource recovery.

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Jenelle has more than 20 years of experience in the water industry, starting with Sydney Water as a graduate before moving to GHD and then to Melbourne Water in 2008. She is a thought leader who is passionate about implementing innovation and has extensive experience in leading the associated change processes.

Jenelle holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Bioprocess) from the University of New South Wales and a Master in Business and Technology from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Jenelle Watson

Manager, Treatment and Resources, Melboure Water

USA case

Dr. Belinda Sturm is a Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas. She also serves as an Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. Belinda earned her B.S. in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her PhD in Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame.

In 2012, the American Academy of Environmental Engineers awarded Belinda and KU an Excellence in Environmental Engineering honor award for her research on coupling nutrient removal with algae-mediated energy recovery. Belinda currently serves as Chair of the International Water Association’s USA National Committee Executive Board and as Vice-Chair of the Water Environment Federation’s Municipal Design Symposium.

Belinda Sturm

Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering, University of Kansas

Finnish Case

Ari Kangas is a wastewater specialist who has been working around wastewater issues the whole of his professional career starting in 1983. Mr. Kangas has been familiarizing himself with waste water from all sides working as a research engineer, operational chemist, and operational chief at the WWTP and then as a consultant and private entrepreneur before changing over to licensing authority, supervising authority and finally to the Ministry of the Environment.

Mr. Kangas was awarded a national prize for his applied research on nitrogen removal in 90’s and he is well-wanted speaker with good educational skills. He has also given several university-level lectures.

In his present position, Mr. Kangas is coordinating national projects covering wastewater treatment, nutrient recovery and sludge utilization.

Ari Kangas

National Projects Coordinator, Ministry of Environment

Finnish Case

Lic.Tech. Kristian Sahlstedt started out as a researcher in Helsinki University of Technology (Aalto University’s predecessor), and has later pursued a career of 20 years in consulting and engineering in the water sector. Now, he is a Section Head of Process Technology and Export at AFRY and one of Finland’s leading process experts and team leaders of complex water and wastewater treatment plant projects. In these roles, he has conducted over 100 design, consulting and engineering assignments in the Nordic countries, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. These include, for example, process design of the conversion of St Petersburg Central and Northern WWTPs (~3,5 million PE combined) to biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal. The clients of these projects include industrial enterprises, contractors, public and private water utilities, international financial institutions, government agencies and private foundations. Mr. Sahlstedt conducted Finland’s first full-scale WWTP dynamic modeling projects and is considered one of the leading experts of this field in the Nordics.

Kristian Sahlstedt

Section Head of Process Technology and Export, AFRY

Wednesday, 2 September

Phosphorus Recovery

Swiss Platform

Anders Nättorp is a senior researcher at the Institute for Ecopreneurship, School of Life Sciences, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). He holds a master’s in chemical engineering from the Lund Institute of Technology and a PhD in reaction engineering from the ETH in Lausanne. Before joining FHNW in 2009 he worked on development and optimization of production processes and product quality assurance in the fields of food, specialty chemicals and bituminous binders

Active in the environmental technology group his research interests include resource recovery, in particular phosphorus, as well as water supply and wastewater treatment. He has led numerous national projects and work packages in large European cross-divisional projects.

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In the field of phosphorus recovery, Anders and the FHNW team develop new processes and support implementation in collaboration with industrial partners and authorities. This includes not only technology, but also other aspects such as implementation scenarios, process cost estimates and life cycle assessments. Anders set up the Swiss phosphorus network and is a founding member of the European phosphorus platform ESPP. Last but not least, Anders has supervised practical training in process engineering and taught courses in resource recovery, process engineering, and thermal process safety.

Anders Nättorp

Senior Researcher, Institute for Ecopreneurship, School of Life Sciences, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW)

Swedish Platform

Klara Westling,

Klara Westling, MSc and Group Manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, has 15 years’ experience of working with wastewater related projects and she is currently manager of the wastewater treatment group at IVL. She is mostly working in close cooperation with Swedish wastewater utilities regarding issues concerning resource efficiency, micropollutant removal, wastewater re-use and nutrient recovery. A lot of this work is conducted at the, by IVL and KTH co-owned, test and demonstration site for wastewater treatment; Hammarby Sjöstadsverk in Stockholm, Sweden.

She has also coordinated an EU funded research project focusing on innovative wastewater treatment technologies; R3Water. She is co-author of the recently published Swedish research agenda on water issues and the Swedish research agenda on nutrient recovery from wastewater streams. She is also managing the Swedish nutrient platform together with Emma Lundin from RISE.

Klara Westling

Group Manager, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Emma Lundin is a project manager at RISE Urban Water Management. She has a M.Sc. in water and environmental engineering and over 5 years of experience of project managing complex research projects at RISE. These projects are often carried out in close collaboration with public actors as well as engaging technology providers and associations to realize nutrient recovery from wastewater. Emma is one of two coordinators for the Swedish Nutrient Platform that ties together actors and knowledge in nutrients for a circular economy.

Emma Lundin

Project Manager, RISE Urban Water Management

Thursday, 3 September

New Challenges in Nutrient Recovery & Removal – Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Plants

Sustainable Wastewater

Since 2015, Siegfried E. Vlaeminck has been a professor at the University of Antwerp, where he heads the Microbial Cleantech Team in the Sustainable Energy, Air and Water Technology Research Group, and serves as a vice-chair to the Bioscience Engineering Department. He obtained his M.Sc. (2005) and PhD (2009) in Bioscience Engineering, option Environmental Technology, at Ghent University, under the supervision of prof. Willy Verstraete. Prof. Vlaeminck focussed on biological wastewater treatment, and more particularly on partial nitritation/anammox, as novel resource-efficient nitrogen removal technology. He continued his research career at the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET), as a postdoctoral researcher, and later as a part-time professor (2013-2019), expanding his research interests to multiple innovative nitrogen removal and recovery technologies. The mission of his research team in Antwerp is to develop microbial technology addressing societal challenges in the water cycle and food production chain. Solutions should be clean, safe and cost efficient, treating or recovering resources from waste and side streams, or (bio)producing from renewable resources.

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Examples include innovative biological nitrogen conversions, energy-positive sewage treatment, and production of fertilizers, animal feed or human food (microbial protein, single-cell protein). As an ultimate case of circular economy relying on microbial cleantech, the team also focuses on regenerative life support systems for human spaceflights, in the  MELiSSA programme. The team’s results are published in around 100 papers indexed by Web of Science, are cited more than 2500 times, and have attracted several awards.

Prof. Vlaeminck currently advises 15 PhD candidates and 4 postdocs. This team is part of the new Centre of Excellence on Microbial Systems Technology (°2020) at the University of Antwerp, contributes to the Centre for Advanced Process Technology for Urban Resource Recovery (CAPTURE), and is internationally active in various projects from the European Commission and the European Space Agency. Prof. Vlaeminck served as Associate Editor for Microbial Biotechnology (2015-2020), and is a member of the management committee of IWA’s specialist group on nutrient removal and recovery (NRR).

Siegfried Vlaeminck

Head of Microbial Cleantech Team, University of Antwerp

Danish Case

Per Henrik Nielsen is a Project Director of Special Projects at VCS Denmark, the oldest and third largest water utility in Denmark, where he is responsible for the planning and implementation of system-wide optimization projects and applied research efforts aimed at the development of new approaches for the sustainable management of the entire water cycle.

His efforts are targeted at positioning of the utility for the future, studying needs for system centralization and decentralization, adopting of the water resource recovery paradigm, increasing resiliency, and identifying technology gaps and developing corresponding applied research efforts. He was instrumental in making VCS the first Danish Water Research Foundation Subscriber in 2014 and from the beginning has been seeking active involvement in the Foundation’s activities, currently serving in their prestigious Research Council.

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Mr. Nielsen also represents VCS in Three Waters, an association of three of the most important Danish water utilities aimed at identifying and implementing an applied research agenda for the future. He also helps coordinate and actively participates in VCS efforts of providing assistance to water utilities around the world in the strengthening of their technical and institutional capabilities. Prior to joining VCS in 2006, he worked in the consulting engineering, in the design-build contracting, and in the equipment supplier sectors of the water industry.  He is a member of the Society of Danish Engineers, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), and the International Water Association.

He has served as the director for VCS’ Beyond Energy Neutrality program, a series of projects at the 410,000 population equivalent Ejby Molle Water Resource Recovery Facility, aimed at fulfilling the utilities goal of achieving energy independence and carbon neutrality, which achieved its goal in less than 5 years while meeting stringent treated effluent nutrient limits. Currently this facility produces more than 150 percent of the energy electrical and heat energy it requires.

Other significant projects he has directed include the full-scale evaluation of the benefits of induced biomass granulation using hydrocyclones on biological nutrient removal (also a first in Scandinavia), as a contributing utility to a Water Research Foundation (WRF) project. Another of his latest project involves also a “first of” demonstration in the full-scale of the capabilities of membrane aerated biofilm reactors (MABRs) a new and very promising technology that has the potential of revolutionizing the industry because of its small footprint and low energy profile.

Per Henrik Nielsen

Project Director of Special Projects, VCS Denmark

Climate Change

Antti-Ilari Partanen is the head of the Climate System Modelling group at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. He received his PhD at the University of Eastern Finland in 2014, and did his postdoctoral research in 2014­–2017 at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

His main research interests are climate response to various global emission scenarios, estimating remaining carbon budgets compatible with the Paris Agreement, and climate effects of atmospheric aerosols. His main tools have been different global climate models. His PhD work pioneered applying a global aerosol-climate model to study a Climate Engineering scheme of cloud whitening with sea spray aerosol. In recent years, he has focused more on global carbon cycle and is currently getting involved in studying the potential and climate implications of large-scale removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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He has also a keen interest in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. He has collaborated with researchers of Environmental Law, studied health effects of aerosol particles and is involved in two early-phase research projects involving experts from a wide range of disciplines including e.g. economics, public health, and political science. Overall, he aims to enhance understanding of Earth System dynamics and to study how they are influenced by human actions on a global scale.

More information:

Antti-Ilari Partanen

Head of Climate System Modelling Group, Finnish Meteorological Institute

Finnish Case

Mirva Levomäki is CEO of Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy (Turku Region Wastewater Treatment Ltd). Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy is a wastewater treatment service provider that is owned by 14 municipalities and offers high-quality wastewater treatment services to its owners. The company is responsible for the operation and treatment results of the Kakolanmäki wastewater treatment plant, with the aim of providing an optimal purification performance. The plant processes the wastewater of almost 300,000 residents in the Turku region, in addition to the industrial wastewater of the region.

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Levomäki obtained her Master of Engineering science degree from Tampere University of Technology in 2004 in Environmental and Energy Technology and her Executive Master of Business Administration (eMBA) from Turku university in 2017. She is an approved board member of Tampere Chamber of Commerece. She has been working at Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy since 2011.

She has experience in water supply management and especially in the development of wastewater treatment. Her position includes water supply development in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and taking into account energy efficiency, carbon footprint of operations and climate change. Levomäki ensures that the wastewater treatment operations are continuously improved and optimized, thus reducing the discharge of nutrients and use of chemicals.

Mirva Levomäki

CEO of Turku Region Wastewater Treatment Ltd.

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