Department Process Engineering

Main Focus

Our basic scientific research is linked with practical applications. Projects are carried out in cooperation with professional associations, federal and cantonal environmental protection agencies, wastewater treatment plants and drinking water supply units. Due to intensive exchange with the other departments at Eawag and with research institutions from around the world, we are at the forefront of research.  

The participation of the engineering department in the professorship of Urban Water Management at ETH-Zürich ensures a close cooperation of both institutions in research and teaching.

Drinking Water

developing new concepts for water treatment and the application thereof
providing new insights in treatment processes, especially membrane technologies
consultancy and practically oriented research


We deal with the development, design, modelling and optimisation of novel and existing processes in centralised and decentralised wastewater treatment as well as in water reuse and nutrient recycling.

Source Separation and Urine Treatment

We develop treatment processes, which allow us to build small but highly efficient reactors. Our work is guided by the source separation concept: resource recovery can be optimized if wastewater streams are not mixed but treated according to their properties.

Application and Development

  • Practice related application and development for wastewater and sludge treatment
  • Large-scale feasibility and implementation of new processes and procedures options
  • Tests with pilot plants

Data & Information

By using advanced mathematical modelling and advanced data analysis (including data mining and machine learning techniques), we investigate how (and to what extent) the rapidly increasing amount of data can be used to support operators and engineers to improve control strategies of wastewater treatment systems.

Particle Laboratory
We aim to combine well established standard characterization methods from colloidal sciences, with new methods from materials science and with own developments to detect, quantify and understand the effects of the ‘nano-materials’ in the aquatic environment.