About SuPER-W

Background

The increase in human activities, whether it is urban, agricultural or mining related, puts increasing pressure on water resources. Not only the consumption of water is ever increasing, the quantity and diversity of polluted water rises as well. All together water pollution represents a major issue.

One needs to acknowledge, however, that on a global scale treatment is expensive and needlessly energy intensive, whereas energy and components contained in polluted water, such as organic chemicals, nitrogen, phosphorus, water, mineral salts and metals can be of significant economic benefit if they would be harvested. Effective recovery of resources not only relieves a hazard for the aquatic environment, it also represents an economic benefit and can help to alleviate negative impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and scarcity of mineral resources.

Innovation and Excellence

SuPER-W is particularly novel as:

  • Innovation through pushing the concept away from treatment towards recovery,
  • Contributes the identification of (regulatory/economical/technical) bottlenecks,
  • Creates a new interface between water and material scientists,
  • It is highly multidisciplinary, involving a combination of techniques, technologies and professionals in multiple disciplines

Objectives / mission of SuPER-W

It brings together eminent scientists and non-academic sector representatives from multiple key disciplines to train young professionals, to optimize existing technologies and develop novel integrated technologies for product, energy and resource recovery from wastewater, to identify (potential) bottlenecks in the implementation and exploitation of these technologies and to stimulate policy input formulation

Impact

Graduates of SuPER-W will have obtained all essential knowledge and skills needed to turn economic and environmental problems, such as waste production, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and the decreasing availability of resources, into (economic) opportunities.

Doctoral training Programme

In addition to their research and associated activities in the framework of preparation of their doctoral thesis, the early-stage researchers (ESRs) also complete a doctoral training programme. This programme has 4 pillars:

  • education through research,
  • education through exchange with the non-academic sector,
  • education through structured training courses, and
  • education through participation in public outreach activities.

Specific network –wide training events

Role of the non-academic sector

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PhD degree and training certificate

SuPER-W graduates will obtain a double or joint PhD degree awarded by the two institutes where they are assigned to. Moreover, they will receive an explanatory diploma supplement as well as a joint doctoral Programme certificate for fulfillment of the entire joint doctoral training Programme.