David Weissbrodt Group


The Weissbrodt Group is active on the field of Environmental Life Science Engineering. It targets the elucidation of mixed-culture microbial systems designed for public health sanitation, environmental protection, resource and energy recovery from used streams. Environmental systems biology and process engineering are combined in an approach called “process ecogenomics” to unravel mechanisms underlying the macro-scale, meso-scale, micro-scale, molecular, metabolic, and temporal performances of engineered and natural biological systems.


  • Phototrophic microbial systems for nutrient concentration, byproduct formation, and resource recovery.
  • Mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer and antibiotic resistance spread in urban settlements.
  • Microbial and metabolic networks of mixed-culture fermentation of green wastes.
  • Exopolymer biosynthesis and biorefinery from used aqueous organic streams.
  • Metabolic regulation in biofilm processes designed for aerobic-anaerobic ammonium oxidation.
  • Engineering microbiomes in intensified processes using granular sludge for biological nutrient removal.

Teaching consists of a major activity of the Weissbrodt Group for the education of new generations of professional leaders. Our teaching activity targets both the Life Science and Technology and the Civil Engineering programs of the TU Delft.


  • Advanced Course Environmental Biotechnology, BioTech Delft postgraduate, BSDL: 2016, 2017.
  • Advanced Biofilm Course, BioTech Delft postgraduate, BSDL: 2015.
  • Environmental Biotechnology and Microbiology, MSc Civil Engineering, CIE 4705: 2017.
  • Microbial Community Engineering, MSc Life Science and Technology, LM 3611: 2015, 2016, 2017.
David Weissbrodt, Assistant Professor


  • Since 2016 Assistant Professor, TU Delft, NL.
  • Since 2014 Research Advisor, Federal University of Santa Catarina, BR.
  • 2015-2016 Swiss NSF Fellow, TU Delft, NL and Aalborg University, DK.
  • 2013-2014 Postdoctoral Researcher, ETH Zürich and Eawag, CH.
  • 2006-2008 Research Assistant and Environmental Engineer, Eawag and CREM, CH.
  • 2003-2004 Chemical Engineer, EPFL and Membratec SA, CH.
  • 2002-2003 Research Assistant, Hochschule Mannheim and Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg, DE.
  • 1999-2000 Chemical Engineer Trainee, BASF Pharma Solution, Evionnaz, CH.



  • 2013 Ph.D., Environmental Biotechnology, EPFL, CH.
  • 2006 M.Sc., Environmental Sciences and Engineering, EPFL, CH.
  • 2002 Dipl.-Ing., Chemical Engineering Life Technologies, HES-SO Valais/Wallis, CH.
  • 1998 Swiss Federal Certificate in General Education, Economy and Law, Ardevaz College, CH.


Significant recognition

  • 2015 Swiss NSF Mobility Fellowship, TU Delft, NL and Aalborg University, DK.
  • 2014 Luce Grivat Award for excellence in doctoral research, EPFL, CH.
  • 2011 1st-ever Ph.D. Mobility Award, EDCE Program, EPFL, CH.
  • 2011 Best Poster Presentation Award, IWA Biofilm Conference, Shanghai, China.
  • 2008 2nd Poster Presentation Prize, IWA LET, Zürich, CH.
  • 1998 Best Swiss Federal Upper Secondary Certificate in General Education, Ardevaz College, CH.


Professional service

  • Since 2013 Management Committee, IWA Specialist Group on Microbial Ecology and Water Engineering.
  • Since 2009 Elected Board and Executive Committee, Professional Association of Water and Air Protection of Western Switzerland (ARPEA).



  • Biotechnology and microbiology: Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering; Biotechnology Progress; Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology; Environmental Microbiology Reports; FEMS Microbiology Ecology; Frontiers in Microbiology; Journal of Applied Microbiology; Microbial Biotechnology.
  • Chemical science and engineering: Chemical Engineering Journal; Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers; Separation and Purification Technology.
  • Environmental science and engineering: Ecological Engineering; Environmental Engineering Science; Environmental Protection Engineering; Environmental Science and Technology; Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology; Nature Scientific Reports.
  • Water science and engineering: Desalination and Water Treatment; IWA World Water Congresses; IWA Young Water Professional Conferences; Water; Water Research; Water Science and Technology.

The Weissbrodt Group empowers young professionals along the different educational levels. It benefits from the inputs from excellent Postdoc, Ph.D., M.Sc., B.Sc. and vocational candidates. It promotes diversity.



  • Cuijie Feng, Postdoc, TU Delft, 2016 (completed).



  • Rebecca Pallares-Vega, PhD student, Wetsus and TU Delft, 2015-2019.                    
  • Jules Rombouts, PhD student, TU Delft, 2015-2019.                                                      
  • Lorena Guimarães, PhD student, UFSC and TU Delft, 2014-2017 (completed).



  • Berber Stevens, MSc student, TU Delft, 2017.
  • Ismael Hernandez, MSc intern, Unesco IHE, 2016 (completed).                                  
  • Nina Gubser, MSc student, ETH Zürich, 2015 (completed).



  • Katie Thorpe, BSc intern, University of Florida, 2017.
  • Lars Puiman, BSc student, TU Delft, 2017 (completed).



  • Demi Ligtenberg, MBO student, Zadkine Rotterdam, 2017.
Open positions

The Weissbrodt Group aims to expand in the near future. Please contact David Weissbrodt for more information ( d.g.weissbrodt@tudelft.nl ).


Postdoctoral research

We welcome contacts for the possibility to host postdoctoral researchers. An excellent way is to get in early contact for support to application to postdoctoral research grants.


Ph.D. theses

Two positions for Ph.D. will be available at the Weissbrodt Group.

  • Environmental systems biology
  • Horizontal gene transfer


M.Sc. theses

Please contact David Weissbrodt for possibilities to conduct a M.Sc. thesis in line with the research projects of the Weissbrodt Group.


B.Sc. projects

Please contact David Weissbrodt for possibilities to conduct a B.Sc. project in line with the research projects of the Weissbrodt Group.


The Weissbrodt Group benefits from excellent interaction designed with colleagues, world-wide.


  • North Carolina State University, USA.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
  • UC Irvine, USA.
  • University of Washington, USA.
  • University of South Florida, USA.
  • Northwestern University, USA.
  • University of Utah, USA.
  • Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil.
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.
  • TU Darmstadt, Germany.
  • University of Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Radboud University of Nijmegen, Netherlands.
  • Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark.
  • Aalborg University, Denmark.
  • ETH Zürich and Eawag, Switzerland.
Conference organization

Conference organizer

  • IWA Biofilms: Granular Sludge Conference 2018, Delft, Netherlands.
  • MMWWRR 2017: Microbiological Methods for Waste and Water Resource Recovery, Delft, Netherlands.
  • Forums ARPEA, since 2009, Switzerland.


Workshops organizer

  • “Responsible Science, Education, and Engineering Practice for Water Resource Recovery and Circularity” at AEESP 2017 Conference, University of Michigan, USA.
  • “Bridging Microbiome Science and Environmental Biotechnology” at IWA MEWE & Biofilms 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Session chair

  • IWA Biofilms 2017, Dublin, Ireland.
  • IWA MEWE & Biofilms 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • WEFTEC 2015, Chicago, USA.
  • IWA Nutrient Removal and Recovery 2015, Gdansk, Poland.

David Weissbrodt

Assistant Professor