Frank Blumensaat

About Me

Senior Researcher @ the SWW department at Eawag, co-ordinator of the UWO lab
Lecturer @ the Chair of Urban Water Systems (Prof. Max Maurer), ETH Zurich


Research interest

My research at Eawag is dedicated to deepen our understanding in water and pollutant dynamics in sewers and rivers i) by exploring novel monitoring techniques, ii) by integrating different types of (novel) data efficiently and more reliable and iii) by closing possible information gaps with adequate (model) predictions. In detail I focus on:

Sewer Metrology - novel techniques to better understand in-sewer process dynamics

  • low-power wireless sensor networks (LPWSN) to efficiently monitor/control drainage networks
  • Characterization of ‘urban particulates’ to mitigate stormwater pollution

Intelligent Network Operation and Integrated Management

  • evidence-based drainage network operation
  • coherent operation of resource reclamation facility and sewer network under changing conditions

Infrastructure Analysis and GIS-based Sewer Network Modelling

  • Exploration of interdependencies between sewer network characteristics (dimension, topology) and function
  • Use of remote sensing techniques to advance urban drainage modelling (impervious surface mapping, feature detection)

In my role at ETH Zurich, I am actively promoting the mutual cross-stimulation between science, university education and engineering practice to consolidate an innovative water engineering in Switzerland and abroad.

Selected Publications

Blumensaat, F., Ebi, C., Dicht, S., Rieckermann, J., and Maurer, M. (2017). "Langzeitüberwachung der Raum-Zeit-Dynamik in Entwässerungs-systemen mittels Niedrigenergiefunk – ein Feldexperiment im Großmaßstab." Korrespondenz Abwasser, 64(7), 594-603.

McCall, A.-K., Palmitessa, R., Blumensaat, F., Morgenroth, E., and Ort, C. (2017). "Modeling in-sewer transformations at catchment scale – Implications on drug consumption estimates in wastewater-based epidemiology." Water Research, 122.

Wani, O., Scheidegger, A., Carbajal, J.P., Rieckermann, J. and Blumensaat, F. (2017). Parameter estimation of hydrologic models using a likelihood function for censored and binary observations. Water Research, 121, 290-301.

Peleg, N., Blumensaat, F., Molnar, P., Fatichi, S., and Burlando, P. (2017). "Partitioning the impacts of spatial and climatological rainfall variability in urban drainage modeling." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21(3), 1559-1572.

Tokarczyk, P., Leitao, J. P., Rieckermann, J., Schindler, K., and Blumensaat, F. (2015). "Nutzung von Drohnen und Luftbildern in der Siedlungswasserwirtschaft." Geomatik Schweiz, 9, 346-350.

Tokarczyk, P., Leitao, J. P., Rieckermann, J., Schindler, K., and Blumensaat, F. (2015). "High-quality observation of surface imperviousness for urban runoff modelling using UAV imagery." Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19(10), 4215-4228. DOI: 10.5194/hess-19-4215-2015

Hagemann, N., Blumensaat, F., Wahren, F. T., Trümper, J., Burmeister, C., Moynihan, R., and Scheifacken, N. (2014). "The long way of implemeting river basin management in Post-Soviet states - a conflict analysis in the Western Bug River basin (Ukraine)." Journal of Hydrology - Special Issue (SI) "Water governance across competing scales: coupling land and water management". DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.01.013

Blumensaat, F., Tränckner, J., Helm, B., Kroll, S., Dirckx, G., and Krebs, P. (2013). "An adaptive framework to differentiate water quality impacts on a multi-scale level." Water Science and Technology, 67(2), pp 424-432. DOI: 10.2166/wst.2012.547

Blumensaat, F., Staufer, P., Heusch, S., Reussner, F., Schütze, M., Seiffert, S., Gruber, G., Zawilski, M., and Rieckermann, J. (2012). "Water quality-based assessment of urban drainage impacts in Europe - where do we stand today?" Water Science and Technology, 66(2), 304-313. DOI: 10.2166/wst.2012.178

Blumensaat, F., Wolfram, M., and Krebs, P. (2012). "Sewer model development under minimum data requirements." Environmental Earth Sciences, 65(5), 1427-1437. DOI: 10.1007/s12665-011-1146-1


2014/05 - PostDoc in the Urban Water Management groups at ETH Zurich and Eawag
2013/06 - 2014/04

Group leader of the 'Urban Drainage' working group at
TU Dresden, Institute for Urban and Industrial Water Management

2013/04 PhD graduation (Dr.-Ing.), TU Dresden, Germany
Doctoral Thesis: "A conceptual framework to characterise the impacts of urban wastewater systems on receiving water quality"
2009 - 2013 BMBF research project at TU Dresden: IWAS
financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Total Funding Volume: 7 Mln. EUR
2007 - 2009 Industry research project at TU Dresden: iMOD (research & project management)
financed by the Belgian Wastewater Operator AQUAFIN. Total Funding Volume: 0.15 Mln. EUR
2003 - 2007 EU research project at TU Dresden: CD4WC (research & project management). Total Funding Volume: 4 Mln. EUR
2002/04 Diploma graduation (Dipl.-Ing.), TU Dresden and AWMC, Australia
Diploma thesis: "Mathematical Modelling of two-stage anaerobic digestion using the IWA Anaerobic Digestion Model (ADM1)"

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This member of staff no longer works at Eawag. Please contact for further information.

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Research Group

Urban Water Management

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sewer metrology, water quality modelling, network analysis

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