Senior researcher and group leader Solid Waste ManagementIn 1998, Christian Zurbrügg joined the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec), which is now Department Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) as a tenure track researcher in the field of solid waste management in developing countries and obtained tenure in 2002. In 2004 he took over the responsibility as head of department Sandec. From August 2015 to February 2023 he acted as a member of the Eawag directorate. Currently he heads the Solid Waste Management research group as senior researcher and group leader.
Dr. Christian Zurbrügg received his BSc. and MSc. degree in Geology at the University of Berne, Switzerland. He then worked as a consultant in a geotechnical engineering enterprise before continuing his education with a postgraduate diploma on urban water resources management and water conservation and protection at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) and Eawag. In 1992 he joined ETHZ as a research associate in the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology and then in 1997 collaborated with the Department of Civil Engineering at University of British Columbia (UBC, Canada) as flood hydrologist.
His current research interests lie in the interdisciplinary approach of upgrading infrastructure and services in urban areas of low and middle income countries - with a special focus on sanitation, solid waste and water. He has led several international programs and projects, published many scientific articles and book chapters on appropriate technology and enabling environments in low income settings, and serves on many international committees, task forces and juries.
As Head of Sandec he obtained the IWA Development Solutions Award for Science in recognition of outstanding innovation or contribution to science which has led to demonstrable uptake, impact or influence at national, regional or international levels in low and middle income countries.