David Weissbrodt Group

Environmental Life Science Engineering

David Weissbrodt, Assistant Professor

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

David Weissbrodt benefits from a strong interdisciplinary curriculum in Chemical Engineering for Life TechnologiesEnvironmental Science and Engineering, and Biotechnology and Systems Microbiology. His academic track feeds on achievements in microbial systems, process engineering, water, energy, and health sciences. His profile harbours substantial professional experience in the private sector. His involvement at the regional, national, and international levels is testified by membership and professional service to several societies.


  • 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.
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.


    Completed 2016

  • Cuijie Feng
    Postdoc, TU Delft, 2016 (completed).
    Theme: polyphosphate-accumulating organisms


  • Joe Ho
    visiting PhD student, UBC, Canada and TU Delft, 2018.
    Theme: mixed-culture fermentation
  • Marta Cerruti
    PhD student, TU Delft, 2017-2021.
    Theme: purple phototrophs
  • Ana Maria Zetty Arenas
    PhD student, Unicamp, Brazil and TU Delft, 2017-2019.
    Theme: ABE fermentation from sugarcane
  • Rebeca Pallarés-Vega
    PhD student, Wetsus and TU Delft, 2015-2019.
    Theme: antimicrobial resistances
  • Jules Rombouts
    PhD student, TU Delft, 2015-2019.
    Theme: mixed-culture fermentation

    Completed 2017

  • Lorena Bittencourt Guimarães
    PhD student, UFSC, Brazil and TU Delft, 2014-2017 (completed).
    Theme: granular sludge biofilms and exopolymers biorefinery


  • Jeong Hoon Kim
    MSc student (thesis), TU Delft, 2018.
    Theme: purple phototrophs
  • Charlotte Meerstadt
    MSc student (industrial), TU Delft, 2018.
    Theme: food biotechnology and environmental impacts
  • Elien Versteggen
    MSc student (thesis), TU Delft, 2018.
    Theme: gene transfer
  • Kelly Hamers
    MSc student (thesis), TU Delft, 2018.
    Theme: mixed-culture fermentation
  • Anissa El Masoudi
    MSc student (industrial), TU Delft, 2018.
    Theme: groundwater bioremediation
  • Berber Stevens
    MSc student (industrial), TU Delft, 2018.
    Theme: biopharmaceutical
  • Guillaume Crosset-Perrotin
    MSc student (semester & thesis), EPFL, Switzerland and TU Delft, 2017-2018 / 2018-2019.
    Theme: purple phototrophs
  • Heleen Ouboter
    MSc student (thesis), TU Delft, 2017-2018.
    Theme: purple phototrophs
  • Qingnan Lin
    MSc student (thesis), TU Delft, 2017-2018.
    Theme: gene transfer

    Completed 2018

  • Maria Paula Gomez Paez
    MSc student (industrial), TU Delft, 2017-2018 (completed).
    Theme: anaerobic processes

    Completed 2017

  • Berber Stevens
    MSc student (thesis), TU Delft, 2017 (completed).
    Theme: purple phototrophs
  • Galvin Mos
    MSc student (thesis), TU Delft, 2017 (completed).
    Theme: mixed-culture fermentation
  • Elsemiek Kranendonk
    MSc student (thesis), TU Delft, 2017 (completed).
    Theme: mixed-culture fermentation

    Completed 2016

  • Ismael Hernandes Pereira Junior
    MSc student (intern), Unesco IHE and TU Delft, 2016 (completed).
    Theme: granular sludge biofilms and exopolymers biorefinery

    Completed 2015

  • Nina Gubser
    MSc student (thesis), ETH Zürich, Switzerland and TU Delft, 2015 (completed).
    Theme: granular sludge biofilms and exopolymers biorefinery


    Completed 2017

  • Katie Thorp
    BSc student (intern), University of Florida, USA, 2017 (completed).
    Theme: purple phototrophs
  • Lars Puiman
    BSc student (thesis), TU Delft, 2017 (completed).
    Theme: mixed-culture fermentation


    Completed 2017

  • Demi Ligtenberg
    MBO student (laborantine), Zadkine Technical College Rotterdam, 2017.
    Theme: purple phototrophs
Open positions

The Weissbrodt Group aims to expand in near future. Please contact David Weissbrodt for more information.

Please 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.


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.
  • The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • Soehngen Institute for Anaerobic Microbiology (SIAM)
  • TU Delft Department of Biotechnology (BT)
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)

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]: 2017, 2018, 2019.
  • Microbial Community Engineering
    M.Sc. Life Science and Technology, LM 3611 [6 ECTS]: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.
  • Transport and Separation
    M.Sc. Life Science and Technology, LM 3751 [6 ECTS]: 2019.

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

  • Ghent University (Prof. Siegfried Vlaeminck), Belgium, 2018: Ph.D. thesis committee
  • University of Antwerp (Prof. Jan Dries), Belgium, 2017/2018: Ph.D. thesis committee
  • Chalmers University of Technology (Prof. Britt-Marie Wilén), Sweden, 2017: Faculty Opponent
  • UC Louvain (Prof. Jacques Mahillon), Belgium, 2017: Ph.D. thesis committee
  • 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: 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: Examination committee

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


  • Wetsus, Netherlands.
  • Unesco IHE, Netherlands.
  • Radboud University of Nijmegen, Netherlands.
  • University of Antwerp, Belgium.
  • UC Louvain, Belgium. 


  • Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
  • Uppsala University, Sweden.
  • Aalborg University, Denmark.
  • Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark.
  • 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.
  • McGill University, 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

  • 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.

David Weissbrodt

Assistant Professor

Team wall

Visiting scientists

Vojtěch Kouba

UCT Prague, Czech Republic

Dana Vejmelková

UCT Prague, Czech Republic /SIAM Talent

Ph.D. students / candidates

Marta Cerruti

BT Startup

David Calderon Franco

Biotechnology & Safety

Rebeca Pallares Vega


Jules Rombouts


Sergio Tomas Martinez

Closed Cycles

Maria Paula Giulianetti de Almeida

Unicamp, Brazil

Joe Ho

UBC / SIAM Talent

M.Sc. candidates (research)

Camille Mondini

Civil Engineering & Geosciences

Mythili Ananth

Life Science & Technology

Viktor Chasna

Life Science & Technology

Sushanth Yayavaram

Life Science & Technology

Apoorva Seram

Civil Engineering & Geosciences

B.Sc. candidates

Erwin Zwolsman

Vocational candidates

Sofie Rox

Techniek College Rotterdam


Visiting scientists

Meng Wang
Visiting 2018
U. South Florida, USA


Cujie Feng
Postdoc 2016

Completed PhD's

Lorena Bittencourt Guimarães
PhD 2017

Completed MSc's

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

Completed BSc's

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

Completed MBO's

Demi Ligtenberg
MBO 2017
TC Rotterdam