David Weissbrodt Group

Environmental Life Science Engineering

Water | Environmental Systems Biology | Systems Microbiology | Ecogenomics | Ecophysiology | Microbiome Science & Engineering | Mixed-Culture Biotechnology | Microbial Community Engineering | Resource Recovery | Wastewater-Based Epidemiology | Health

David Weissbrodt, Assistant Professor

 with tenure track | Ph.D. | M.Sc. | Dipl.-Ing.

I benefit from a strong (inter)disciplinary curriculum in Chemical Engineering for Life TechnologiesEnvironmental Science & Engineering, and Biotechnology & Systems Microbiology. My academic track feeds on achievements in microbial systems, process engineering, water, energy, and health sciences. I harbour professional experience in the private sector.

I am active at (inter)national levels with professional service to several societies. I chaired with Marjet Oosterkamp the MMWWRR2017 Symposium on Microbiological Methods for Waste & Water Resource Recovery within TUDelft 175th Lustrum Technology for Life. I chaired with Merle de Kreuk the IWA Biofilms: Granular Sludge Conference 2018.

I received the inaugural IWA MEWE Early-Career Researcher Award from the Specialist Group on Microbial Ecology & Water Engineering of the International Water Association, University of Hiroshima, Japan, 2019. I was awarded one of the Best Teacher Awards of the Years 2017/18 and 2018/19 of the Master Track in Environmental Engineering. My science is intimately linked to teaching for the Life Science & Technology and Civil Engineering & Geosciences programs of the TU Delft.

Positions

  • Since 2016 Assistant Professor (with tenure track), TU Delft, NL.
  • Since 2014 Research Advisor, Federal University of Santa Catarina and University of Campinas, 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.

 Education

  • 2013 Ph.D., Environmental Biotechnology & Molecular Biology, EPFL, CH.
  • 2006 M.Sc., Environmental Sciences & 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

  • 2019 Inaugural IWA MEWE Early-Career Researcher Award, University of Hiroshima, JP.
  • 2019 3rd Best Teacher of the Year Award of the MSc track in Environmental Engineering, TU Delft, NL.
  • 2018 2nd Best Teacher of the Year Award of the MSc track in Environmental Engineering, TU Delft, NL.
  • 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).

 Reviewer

  • 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.
Team (see team wall below)

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

For team members' pictures see the front page.

Significant recognitions of the Team

2019

Inaugural IWA MEWE Early-Career Researcher Award 2019 (David Weissbrodt). Received from the Microbial Ecology & Water Engineering (MEWE) Specialist Group of the International Water Association (IWA), sponsored by Hazen & Sawyer. 8th IWA MEWE Specialist Conference, University of Hiroshima, Japan, November 2019.

Best Poster Prize of 8th IWA MEWE Specialist Conference (Sergio Tomas Martinez). University of Hiroshima, Japan, November 2019.

2nd Best Poster Prize of 16th IWA World Conference on Anaerobic Digestion: Accelerating natural cycles (Marta Cerruti). Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, June 2019.

3rd Best Teacher of the Year 2018/19 Award of the MSc track in Environmental Engineering (David Weissbrodt). Nominated by the TU Delft student association of the Civil Engineering and Geosciences Program.

Cum laude Master Degree of the TU Delft Life Science & Technology Program (Nina Roothans). Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Cum laude Master Degree of the TU Delft Civil Engineering & Geosciences Program (Camille Mondini). Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Cum laude Master Degree of the TU Delft Civil Engineering & Geosciences Program (Charlotte Meerstadt). Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

2018

2nd Best Teacher of the Year 2017/18 Award of the MSc track in Environmental Engineering (David Weissbrodt). Nominated by the TU Delft student association of the Civil Engineering and Geosciences Program.

Best financial case of "Ready to Startup!", Lyt Sanitation (Charlotte Meerstadt and Dieuwertje Drexhage). YESDelft Incubator and Delft Centre for Entrepreneurship, June 2018.

Cum laude Master Degree of the TU Delft Life Science & Technology Program (Heleen Ouboter). Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

2017

Best Poster Prize of MMWWRR 2017 "Microbiological Methods for Waste and Water Resource Recovery" (Maria Paula Gomez Paez). Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, May 2017.

2015

Mobility Fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation (David Weissbrodt). Hosted at TU Delft, Netherlands and Aalborg University, Denmark.

2014

Luce Grivat Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research (David Weissbrodt). Best Ph.D. Thesis in Environmental Sciences and Engineering at EPFL, contributing a high level and innovative share in the field of environmental science and engineering. "Bacterial resource management for nutrient removal in aerobic granular sludge wastewater treatment systems", Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

Research

The Weissbrodt Group for Environmental Life Science Engineering elucidates mixed-culture microbial systems designed for public health sanitation, environmental protection, biorefinery, resource and energy recovery from used streams.

Environmental systems biology and process engineering are combined in an approach of “process ecogenomics” to unravel mechanisms underlying the macro-scale, meso-scale, micro-scale, molecular, metabolic, and temporal performances of engineered and natural biological systems.

Specific research themes involve: 

  • Phototrophic microbial systems for nutrient concentration, bioproduct 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.
  • Exopolymers 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.
Funding
  • The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • European Union Horizon 2020 Research & innovation Programme and Department of Science & Technology (DST)/Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India (Saraswati 2.0)
  • European Union Horizon 2020 Twinning (REPARES)
  • Soehngen Institute for Anaerobic Microbiology (SIAM)
  • TU Delft Department of Biotechnology (BT)
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
Teaching

Teaching is a major activity of the Weissbrodt Group to educate and train the new generations of professional and scientific leaders.

Our teaching targets the Life Science & Technology and Civil Engineering & Geosciences (Environmental Engineering) programs of the TU Delft. Peer- and problem-based learning is an essential didactical component.

Specific courses involve: 

  • Advanced Course Environmental Biotechnology
    Ph.D./postgraduate, BioTech Delft: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.
  • Advanced Biofilm Course
    Ph.D./postgraduate, BioTech Delft: 2015.
  • Environmental Biotechnology and Microbiology
    M.Sc. Civil Engineering and Geosciences, CIE 4705 [6 ECTS]: 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20.
  • Microbial Community Engineering
    M.Sc. Life Science and Technology, LM 3611 [6 ECTS]: 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20.
  • Transport and Separation
    M.Sc. Life Science and Technology, LM 3751 [6 ECTS]: 2018/19, 2019/20.

Ph.D. candidates are involved as doctoral assistants in teaching, and on Fermentation Practicals (BBT1) and Integrated Practicals in Biotechnology (LB 2791) within the Department of Biotechnology.

Graduation committees

Ph.D. theses defenses

  • Abbas Alloul, University of Antwerp (Prof. Siegfried Vlaeminck), Belgium, 2019: Ph.D. thesis committee
  • Chiara Ilgrande, Ghent University (Prof. Siegfried Vlaeminck), Belgium, 2018: Ph.D. thesis committee
  • Thomas Dobbeleers, University of Antwerp (Prof. Jan Dries), Belgium, 2017/2018: Ph.D. thesis committee
  • Enikö Szabó, Chalmers University of Technology (Prof. Britt-Marie Wilén), Sweden, 2017: Faculty Opponent
  • Olivier Henriet, UC Louvain (Prof. Jacques Mahillon), Belgium, 2017: Ph.D. thesis committee
  • Lorena Bittencourt Guimarães, Federal University of Santa Catarina (Prof. Rejane Costa), Brazil, 2017: Ph.D. thesis committee

Ph.D. research plans

  • TU Delft, Netherlands, since 2017: Examination committees
  • ETH Zürich and Eawag, Switzerland, 2017: Examination committee

M.Sc. theses

  • EPFL, Switzerland, 2017, 2019: Examination committees
  • TU Delft, Netherlands, since 2016: Examination committees
  • ETH Zürich, Switzerland, 2015: Examination committee

B.Sc. theses

  • TU Delft, Netherlands, since 2017: Examination committees

Vocational practical education (MBO)

  • ROC Zadkine Rotterdam, 2017, 2019: Examination committees
Collaboration

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

Benelux:

  • Leiden University, Netherlands.
  • Wetsus, Netherlands.
  • IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands.
  • Radboud University of Nijmegen, Netherlands.
  • University of Antwerp, Belgium.
  • UC Louvain, Belgium. 

Europe:

  • University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Aalborg University, Denmark.
  • Catholic University of Porto, Portugal.
  • University of Warsaw, Poland.
  • Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
  • Uppsala University, Sweden.
  • Helmholtz-UFZ, Germany.
  • TU Darmstadt, Germany.
  • ETH Zürich, Switzerland.
  • Eawag, Switzerland.
  • EPFL, Switzerland.
  • HES-SO, Switzerland.
  • IRSA-CNR, Italy.
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.

North America:

  • University of British Columbia, Canada.
  • Ryerson University, Canada.
  • McGill University, Canada.
  • Polytechnique Montréal, Canada.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
  • Northwestern University, USA.
  • University of Notre Dame, USA.
  • University of Washington, USA.
  • UC Irvine, USA.
  • University of Utah, USA.
  • North Carolina State University, USA.
  • University of South Florida, USA.

South America:

  • University of Campinas, Brazil.
  • Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil.
  • University Adolfo Ibanez, Chile.

Excellent links are made with the private sector.

Conference organization

Conference organizer

  • IWA Biofilms: Granular Sludge Conference 2018
  • with Merle de Kreuk (TU Delft)
    Conference of the International Water Association, Delft, Netherlands.
  • MMWWRR 2017: Microbiological Methods for Waste and Water Resource Recovery
    with Marjet Oosterkamp (TU Delft)
    Symposium within TU Delft 175th Anniversary: "Technology for Life", Delft, Netherlands.
  • Forums ARPEA, since 2009
    with ARPEA Water Management and Environmental Education WGs
    Forums of environmental engineering professionals, Switzerland.

 Workshops organizer

  • The Microbial Ecology & Water Engineering Component in Environmental Engineering Education
    with Nancy Love (University of Michigan, USA) and Eberhard Morgenroth (ETH Zürich and Eawag, CH)
    at 8th IWA MEWE Specialist Conference, University of Hiroshima, Japan; 2019.
  • Advances in systems microbiology to inform modelling and operation of nutrient recovery and removal processes
    with Dominic Frigon and Bing Guo (McGill University, CA), Marta Cerruti (TU Delft, NL)
    at 4th IWA Specialized International Conference ecoSTP 2018; Western University, Canada; 2018.
  • Responsible Science, Education and Engineering for Resource Recovery and Circularity
    with George Wells (Northwestern U., USA), Jeremy Guest (UIUC, USA), Mari Winkler (U. Washington, USA)
    at AEESP 2017, University of Michigan, USA; 2017.
  • 2nd International Remote Workshop on Mainstream Anammox
    with Michele Laureni (TU Delft, NL and Aalborg University, DK), George Wells (Northwestern U., USA)
    at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands; 2017.
  • Bridging Microbiome Science and Environmental Biotechnology 
    with Christopher Lawson (WISC, USA)
    at IWA MEWE & Biofilms 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2016.
  • 1st International Remote Workshop on Mainstream Anammox
    with George Wells (Northwestern U., USA), Michele Laureni (Eawag and ETH Zürich, CH) 
    at Northwestern University, Evanston, USA; 2015.

 Scientific committee

 Session chair

  • IWA Biofilms: Granular Sludge Conference 2018, Delft, Netherlands (opening plenary sessions).
  • IWA Biofilms 2017, Dublin, Ireland.
  • IWA MEWE & Biofilms 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • WEFTEC 2015, Chicago, USA.
  • IWA Nutrient Removal and Recovery 2015, Gdansk, Poland.
Open positions

Openings at the Weissbrodt Group are described hereafter. Contact David Weissbrodt for more information. Enclose your CV (all levels) as well as your portfolio, short description of research interest, and names and contacts of 2-3 references (Ph.D. and postdoctoral levels). Incomplete application will not be considered.

Postdoctoral research

We welcome hosting postdoctoral researchers. An excellent way is to get in early contact for support to application to postdoctoral research grants.  

Ph.D. theses

There is currently no direct position available in the group. If aiming to apply for a doctoral grant you can get in early contact for support to application.

M.Sc. theses

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

B.Sc. projects

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

David Weissbrodt

Assistant Professor

Team wall

Dana Vejmelková

UCT Prague, Czech Republic
EU Horizon 2020 Twinning REPARES

Abbas Alloul

University of Antwerp, Belgium
EU Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation - DBT India: Saraswati 2.0

Bing Guo

University of Alberta, Canada
FRQNT

Ph.D. candidates

Marta Cerruti

BT Startup

David Calderón Franco

NWO TTW 
Biotechnology & Safety

Rebeca Pallarés Vega

Wetsus

Sergio Tomas Martinez

NWO
Closed Cycles

Maria Paula Giulianetti de Almeida

Unicamp, Brazil / CAPES

M.Sc. candidates (research)

Saman Khayat

Civil Engineering & Geosciences

Aïsha Mientjes

Bionanoscience / Industrial Ecology

Giorgio Gardella

Civil Engineering & Geosciences

Vita Marquenie

Life Science & Technology

Puck Achterberg

Life Science & Technology

Stella Christou

Life Science & Technology

Roel Sarelse

Life Science & Technology

Wesley van Kampen

Life Science & Technology

Gijs Arnold

Life Science & Technology

Daniela Chi Valdespino

Life Science & Technology

Paul Ranshuysen

Life Science & Technology / 
Management of Technology

M.Sc. candidates (industrial / entrepreneurship)

Lemin Chen

Life Science & Technology

Victor Puig I Laborda

Life Science & Technology

B.Sc. candidates

Casper Jansens

Life Science & Technology Delft/Leiden

Alumni

Visiting scientists

Vojtěch Kouba

UCT Prague, Czech Republic

Joe Ho

UBC / SIAM Talent

Ana Maria Zetty Arenas

Unicamp, Brazil

Meng Wang
Visiting 2018
U. South Florida, USA

Postdocs

Cujie Feng
Postdoc 2016

Completed PhD's

Jules Rombouts

SIAM

PhD 2020

Lorena Bittencourt Guimarães
PhD 2017

Completed MSc's

Brian Duggan

Life Science & Technology

Claudia Herrera Mexicano

Life Science & Technology

Sushanth Yayavaram

Life Science & Technology

Vlad Cadar

Leiden University / Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology

Lemin Chen

Life Science & Technology

Viktor Chasna

Life Science & Technology

Mythili Ananth

Life Science & Technology

Reetu Rajbhandari

IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

Camille Mondini

Civil Engineering & Geosciences

Apoorva Seram

Civil Engineering & Geosciences

Dhavissen Narayen

Civil Engineering & Geosciences

Charlotte Meerstadt

Civil Engineering & Geosciences

Guillaume Crosset-Perrotin

MSc 2019 research
Environmental Sciences & Engineering
EPFL, Switzerland

Nina Roothans

MSc 2019 research
Life Science & Technology

Maxim Allaart

Life Science & Technology

Jeong Hoon Kim
MSc 2018
research
Elien Versteegen
MSc 2018
research
Heleen Ouboter
MSc 2018
research
Qingnan Lin
MSc 2018
research
Dieuwertje Drexhage
MSc 2018
entrepreneurship
Anissa El Masoudi
MSc 2018
industrial
Kelly Hammers
MSc 2018
research
Maria Paula Gomez Paez
MSc 2018
industrial
Berber Stevens
MSc 2017
research / industrial
Galvin Mos
MSc 2017
research
Elsemiek Kranendonk
MSc 2017
research
Nina Gubser
MSc 2015
ETH Zürich

Completed BSc's

Renzo Dukker

Life Science & Technology

Erwin Zwolsman

Katie Thorp
BSc 2017
U. Florida, USA
Lars Puiman
BSc 2017

Completed MBO's

Sofie Rox

Techniek College Rotterdam, 2019

Demi Ligtenberg
MBO 2017
TC Rotterdam