Dr. Ir. Doris van Halem

Dr. ir. Doris van Halem is Associate Professor in the field of drinking water treatment. Her research has an international orientation with an emphasis on understanding natural processes for development of innovative, sustainable water technologies. As Scientific Director of TU Delft Global Drinking Water Programme, Dr. van Halem is in charge of drinking water research with and in the Global South. The past years she has been leading PhD/Postdoc research projects in Bangladesh, India, Nicaragua as well as the Netherlands, supported by funding of NWO-WOTRO, NUFFIC, NWO-TTW, Delft Global and industry.

Currently running research projects include:

  • In-line bio-Fe-electrocoagulation (Mrinal Roy)
  • Virus removal by low-cost ceramic filters (Mona Soliman)
  • Healthy reuse of treated waste water in urban mega-cities (Bruno Bicudo Perez)
  • Mobile crowd participation as novel tool for end-user inclusive water research in Bangladesh (Annemarie Mink)
  • Adsorptive fluoride removal from groundwater (Liangfu Wei)
  • As-Mn-Fe oxidation and adsorption mechanisms (Kajol Annaduzzaman)
  • Slow sand filtration: ripening and clogging mechanisms
  • The African Water Corridor: innovation, education and demonstration in Africa

Dr. van Halem graduated from Delft University of Technology in Civil Engineering and Geosciences with a cum laude MSc degree (2007). During her studies she developed an interest in global drinking water challenges, illustrated by her internships in Sri Lanka and Benin, resulting in an MSc thesis “Ceramic silver impregnated pot filter for household drinking water treatment in developing countries”. The thesis was awarded the Gijs Oskam award for best MSc dissertation 2007-2008 in the field of drinking water treatment.

In 2011 she completed her PhD research (with honours) on subsurface iron and arsenic removal for drinking water supply in Bangladesh under the guidance of prof. J.C. van Dijk (TU Delft) and prof. dr. G.L. Amy (Unesco-IHE). This research was executed in close collaboration with UNICEF Bangladesh and DPHE (GoB), and awarded with the Steven Hoogendijk award for best PhD dissertation of TU Delft by “Het Bataafsch Genootschap der Proefondervindelijke Wijsbegeerte”.

As Associate Professor at Delft University of Technology, Dr. van Halem has acquired an impressive portfolio of projects with funding from NWO (WOTRO, TTW) in collaboration with the Dutch drinking water sector, (inter)national NGOs and other universities. These projects have allowed her to build a stable team of PhD and postdoctoral researchers. In 2013, Dr. van Halem worked as a visiting researcher at EAWAG (Zurich) with the Sandec group to develop new strategies for household water treatment. In 2015, she received the UNESCO-L’Oreal For Women in Science award to further develop this research theme during a 5-month fellowship at KNAW NIAS. In 2019 she spent her sabbatical of 4 months at Universidad de las Américas Puebla (Mexico).

Apart from supervision of BSc and MSc thesis students, Dr. van Halem is lecturing BSc course Introduction to Water Treatment (CTB3365) and MSc course Water Treatment (CIE4703), and she is responsible for the new MSc Environmental Engineering course Water Treatment Research (CIE5704). Since 2013, Dr. van Halem has been an active contributor to the development of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on drinking water treatment (Edx.org) to make water treatment knowledge freely available around the world.

Doris van Halem