Current Trainees

Hala Alhamed

PDEng candidate - Sanitary Engineering

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering of the University of Damascus and a Master in integrated water resources management (I.W.R.M) from the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Germany and the University of Jordan. I have more than 15 years of working experience in water infrastructure management in several countries in the Middle East including; Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. I am a member of the Expert Group on Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus under United Nations' Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, UN ESCWA.

In The Hague I founded Work4Water in 2016. With this company, I soon had clients such as the UNEP-DHI Partnership Center on Water and Environment, the municipality of The Hague, the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemingen (RVO), and the International Water Association (IWA). I am also a board member of the international department of the Royal Institute of Engineers (KIVI) and ambassador of Future Proof The Hague.

Now I am working on my PDEng at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Waternet in the field of Integrated Urban Water Asset Management.

Design project
Urban water infrastructure is one of the main drivers behind economic development in cities. Maintaining this infrastructure is complex and capital intensive process due to its vast quantity, system behavior and long lifespan. Thus, wrong decisions in asset replacement in part of the system will have negative impact for decades on the whole system and will considerably increase the asset management costs.

There have been several attempts to develop a generic framework to support urban water asset management. These works are classified into four levels based on how they structure the asset management problem; governance, management, risk assessment and technical levels.

The previous works focused only on finding engineering solutions to sewer assets problems while ignoring the social aspect of the sector, which is the interaction of a large number of stakeholders with multiple and sometimes conflicting objectives.

I am working on designing a tailor-made framework for integrated urban water risk-based asset management, and structure the asset management planning problem from the stakeholders perspectives using operational research methods. The decision support framework  will support water utilities to determine and quantify the key criteria for comparing asset management strategies and will be demonstrated in sewer asset in Waternet.

The design process starts with structuring the problem by interviewing stakeholders, identifying their objectives and incorporating uncertainty in decision making by modelling their preference

Giacomo Bandinu

PDEng candidate - Sanitary Engineering

Giacomo was born in Florence, Italy, where he got his BSc in Environmental Engineering. During his Bachelor, he developed his passion for water engineering. His interests focused mostly on innovative technologies to tackle issues related to water treatment and sanitation.

Led by his interests, he decided to start an MSc in Sanitary Engineering in TU Delft. Besides his study, during his master, he collaborated in water-related projects with local engineering firm (Evides Industrie Water) and the Dutch embassy in Myanmar. He also worked with the Sanitary department in the organization of the course Industry water. In January 2019, he concluded his MSc cum laude with a dissertation on an electrochemical ammonia recovery system.

Exactly one month after his graduation he started working as PDEng trainee in TU Delft. In his individual project, he cooperates with Yara for the development of an innovative system for the recovery of nitrogen from industrial wastewater streams.

Arthur de Boom

PDEng candidate – Geo-Environmental Engineering

During my travels and in my time living abroad I developed a strong interest in the natural environment; In particular the interaction between soil and water has fascinated me. My choice for studying Earth Sciences in Utrecht was therefore an easy one. After doing an internship at a marine contractor I grew a sense of the engineering applications within the geo-environmental domain. Consequently this led me to Rijkswaterstaat, a large commissioning organisation in the field of, amongst others, hydraulic engineering. After 2 years of working on various projects I accepted the challenge to conduct a more in-depth research approach for an engineering problem that Rijkswaterstaat is coping with, which is the current topic of my PDEng project.

In September 2019 I started my PDEng project with the aim to find a solution for seepage of water from large canals in the Netherlands into the subsurface after maintenance works (dredging). A change in geohydrological regime could impose damage to property, failure of infrastructure and corresponding inaccessibility, flooding, drought and subsidence Therefore, Rijkswaterstaat is keen to get a (fundamental) grip on mitigating the effects of these issues. The intended maintenance project ‘Opwaardering Twentekanalen’ is experimenting with a new measure to tackle the unwanted flow of water from the canal into the subsurface by pouring a sand-bentonite mixture over the bottom of the canal. Initial scale-model tests with the mixture have revealed unexpected behaviour of the material, subsequently resulting in a desire for a better understanding of the soil mechanics and geohydrological processes, as well as an optimization of the envisioned solution. In this PDEng project an approach plan will be drafted, which aims at providing a universal roadmap for all canal maintenance projects in the Netherlands in which the project can easily define their project-specific requirements (technical-, safety-, economic- environmental, etc.), monitoring and provide toolbox with potential measures. The Twentekanalen will serve as a case study in this PDEng project and doing so the envisioned solution for the Twentekanalen can be evaluated within this framework and compared to alternative solutions.

Over the coming 2 years I will take different material compositions into account and look at various execution methods in order to find the most effective solution. The optimization process will be conducted through numerical modelling, lab testing and pilot scale testing. In addition to this, output of the mandatory courses (e.g. lifecycle costing, risk management scheme, economic evaluation) will support my findings.

Joshua Gallegos

PDEng candidate - Sanitary Engineering

Joshua Gallegos hails from the southern end of the Rocky mountains in the southwest United States. He started his career in the earth sciences at the US Geological Survey working with surface water management, and later, with seismological research. Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science focused on climate science and earth processes at the University of New Mexico, Joshua spent some years implementing sustainability metrics into operations of large government R&D facilities. In 2012, he and his wife resigned from their professional roles to volunteer in Southeast Asia with the United States Peace Corps where they spent more than 3 years working on initiatives ranging from HIV/AIDs education to anti-corruption and environmental management.

In 2015, Joshua came to Europe on scholarship of the International Master of Science in Environmental Technology and Engineering (IMETE) program funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Ghent University, Belgium; The UNESCO Institute for Water Education, Delft (now IHE-Delft), the Netherlands; and the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, the Czech Republic. After completing MSc research establishing an innovative nature based pilot water treatment system at the Technical University of Munich’s Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering, Joshua received a joint MSc from the Belgian, Dutch, and Czech institutions in 2017. The following year, he started a consultancy called SPINDLEAXIS in Prague which focuses on creating a cohesive picture of how sustainability is relevant for businesses, how ecosystem awareness and the exploding field of environmental technologies can be leveraged to make organizations more competitive, and how systems thinking at the municipal scale can be used to make people healthier and happier.

Joshua’s professional interests lie at the intersection of sustainability as a movement and the application of environmental technologies which enable a more synergistic relationship between human society and the global ecosystem. He has joined the PDEng program at the Delft University of Technology to work with the Delft-based water technology start-up company: Field Factors. The subject of the Field Factors design project is characterization and optimization of treatment capacities of their proprietary multi-stage rainwater capture, treatment, and storage systems through implementation at four locations. The larger goal connecting Joshua to the founding members of Field Factors, is to enable systemic decentralization of urban water management improving water resource utilization, while addressing issues of urbanization such as insufficient groundwater recharge, heat island effects, seasonal water deficits, lack of green space and biodiversity, and the need to create spaces which have positive effects on the human mind.

Joshua Gallegos

Paul le Lan

PDEng candidate – Structural & Railway Engineering

I come from Paris, France. I studied one year in French Preparatory Class for high level French Engineering Schools (LyceeMichelet). I then studied Material Science for 5 years at the Universite de Technologie de Troyes (Master 2 in Material Science and engineering) to graduate as a French engineer. During those studies, I studied quantum mechanic at the university of Lund for my semester abroad. I performed my Master Thesis at the ARCNL, in Amsterdam Science Park, working on DUV interation with metallo-organic compounds.

I have globally acquired during my studies and my working experiences knowledge about materials (mainly related to structural engineering and photonics), nanotechnologies, civil engineering (road and railway environment) and data management and analysis.

Beside my professional experiences, I am a amator beer brewer as well as interested by car and motorbikes mechanics.

Hamidreza Mojab

PDEng candidate - Sanitary Engineering

Participating in a "spaghetti bridge challenge" during his high school, planted the seed of passion for engineering and design in his dreams. Hamid was born and raised in the city of Shiraz, Iran, where he obtained his BSc in Civil Engineering at Shiraz University. Upon completion of his Bachelor of Science, he was the member of a private engineering team, designing decentralized wastewater treatment systems for residential complexes. It was the starting point which formed his vision for sustainable development with focus on innovative solution for wastewater treatment. 

In 2017, Hamid decided to pursue a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Technology at IHE-Delft. During his master, he was introduced to the concept of "Clean Production" which focuses on resource recovery, water reuse and zero waste. A promising solution to implement this concept is industrial effluent treatment via anaerobic digestion. Besides other benefits, this method also provides the production of green energy.  He decided to practice the idea in real world and therefore, with collaboration of Veolia-Biothane, a leading company in anaerobic wastewater treatment, he formulated his thesis on the optimization of anaerobic treatment of high calcium content wastewater, generating from paper industries.

In 2019, soon after finishing his MSc, Hamid started the PDEng program to continue his journey in Environmental Engineering with more focus on design and practice. The core of his project, is the treatment of wastewater with extreme condition, such as toxic organic compounds, high temperature and high salinity, which is challenging for conventional biological treatment methods. A novel solution is to combine biological treatment with membrane filtration. Recently, Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (AnMBR) has raised interests due to its high efficiency for industrial wastewater treatment. This system has also been tested in lab-scale for treatment of such wastewater and now, after several years of research, Hamid and Evides Industriewater, are exploring the feasibility of the system in full-scale, by designing a pilot and full-scale AnMBR plant, for treatment of wastewater with extreme conditions.

Hamidreza Mojab

Hamed Rastegarian

PDEng candidate - Sanitary & Environmental Engineering

Hamed was born in Iran and raised in Shiraz, city of poems and gardens. He has done his BSc studies in Chemical Engineering at Shiraz University. He believes that the beauty of his hometown and its environmental challenges made him curious about the environmental sciences and the importance of water in human life. He always speculates about a solution to turn our generated waste into a useful product. These thoughts push him to go forward and take actions by developing concepts for solving local environmental challenges, which directed him to start his professional career. In 2012 besides his studies, he started to work as a lab technician in the water lab of Shiraz University Environmental Research Center. Two years after he obtained a researcher position in the research center focusing on the feasibility studies of cultivating local green microalgae in different industrial and urban wastewater aiming at pollutant removal, nutrient recovery and biofuel production.

He finished his BSc in 2014 and continued his research for one more year in the research center. However, his ambition for acquiring more in-depth knowledge regarding environmental and water sciences led him to go abroad. In 2015, he moved into Belgium to do his MSc studies in Water Resources Engineering at KULeuven University. During his MSc education, he found his way again by discovering a local environmental challenge in Flanders to work on his MSc thesis. Together with KULeuven University, AQUAFIN and VMM, he developed a dynamic model to monitor the fate and behavior of micro-pollutants in waterbodies.

In 2018 after the graduation from KULeuven, he moved to the Netherlands to pursue his next career. Few weeks after living in Netherlands, he noticed the PDEng advertisement in ZERO BRINE project. It was like a dream for him, an academic career focusing on his area of interest, wastewater treatment, resource recovery, circular economy and sustainability. Two days after, he applied for the position and he was accepted. ZERO BRINE – re-designing the value and supply chain of water and minerals. In fact, it is an advanced circular economy approach to reduce industrial saline wastewater streams by recovering and reusing the minerals and water from the brine generated in process industries, thus ‘closing the loop’ and improving the environmental impacts of production. ZERO BRINE includes 22 partners from research institutes, SMEs, construction companies, and end-users from 10 countries. ZERO BRINE integrates innovative technologies to recover water and minerals of sufficient purity and quality for good market value.

Jeroen Wegdam

PDEng candidate – Structural & Railway Engineering

Jeroen did his bachelor and master of Civil Engineering at the TU Delft. After doing a bachelor thesis at the subject of railway settlements, he studied a custom master curriculum with courses relevant for Railway Engineering. The master thesis project was on the topic of the design of common crossings in railway turnouts. As a side project he investigated application of design principles during maintenance, in order to restore smooth vehicle behavior after rail wear/deformation.

In April 2019 he started with a PDEng project at TU Delft, as commissioned by ProRail (the owner of most Dutch railway tracks). ProRail’s goal of the project is to make better use of measurements that are gathered from inspection trains and passenger trains. These trains measure respectively the rail shape and vehicle accelerations. Jeroen’s task is to automatically generate maintenance advice, based on this information. To do so, he will use Python to develop tools  that can be implemented at the end of the project. The project also incorporates site visits and consultation with relevant companies, to constantly couple theory and practice.