The latest news from Eawag

Urs von Gunten has always combined research with practice. (© Alain Herzog / 2024 EPFL)
Urs von Gunten, the unsung hero of water treatment
February 16, 2024

For a scientist who’s won numerous international honors for his research, Urs von Gunten, a professor at EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), is disarmingly modest. Urs von Gunten will retire in one year: Time to look back at his career.

Eawag staff members Brian Sinnet, Michael Plüss and Pascal Rünzi preparing a thermistor measurement chain that measures temperature, pressure and turbidity in glacial lakes. (Photo: Tobias Ryser)
The Eawag Postdoctoral Fellowship
February 13, 2024

The Eawag postdoctoral fellowship position aims at offering outstanding young scientists with exciting research ideas the possibility for a two year research position at Eawag to strengthen their research career towards becoming independent scientists. The postdoctoral fellow will be hosted within one of Eawag’s 12 Research Departments. The application deadline is April 11, 2024.

On a boat and a platform in Lake Rotsee, the Eawag research group carried out extensive measurements on the transport of gases in lake water (Photo: Tomy Doda, Eawag).
How gases travel laterally through a lake
January 25, 2024

At night or during cold winter days, lake water cools faster near the shore than in the middle of the lake. This creates a current that connects the shallow shore region with the deeper part of the lake. An international team led by Eawag researchers were able to show for the first time that this horizontal circulation transports gases such as oxygen and methane.

Eawag Director Martin Ackermann and Empa Director Tanja Zimmermann (Photo: Marion Nitsch, Empa)
The CO2-binding society as a goal
January 22, 2024

Empa Director Tanja Zimmermann and Eawag Director Martin Ackermann want to provide answers to the current climate crisis with new initiatives and ambitious goals.

Eawag researchers Christa McArdell and Marc Böhler explain how ozone removes micropollutants in wastewater. (Photo: Eawag, Claudia Carle)
Eawag presents one of its success stories on the ...
January 18, 2024

To coincide with the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the ETH Domain invited 50 dignitaries from the political, research and business spheres, to Davos and presented highlights from its current research. Eawag demonstrated how its work has successfully paved the way for advanced wastewater treatment.

David Janssen collects water samples from rivers in southern Greenland to analyse their heavy metal and nutrient content (Photo: Julian Charrière).
Heavy metals in the rivers of Greenland
December 12, 2023

Field studies by Eawag researcher David Janssen in southern Greenland show that the heavy metals in the rivers are largely of natural origin, and that the influence of mining and agriculture is negligible, at least during the period observed.

Cover picture: Legionella thrive particularly well in biofilms inside shower hoses. Eawag has analysed the other microorganisms with which they coexist there. The picture shows a biofilm removed from a shower hose (Photo: Eawag: Frederik Hammes)
One Legionella rarely comes alone
December 8, 2023

Legionella always interact with other organisms. Eawag researchers have characterised microbial communities and analysed their relationship to Legionella.

Ozone is blown into the treated wastewater through these diffusers (WWTP Neugut, Dübendorf; photo: Max Schachtler) .
Swiss approach to modern wastewater treatment is ...
December 1, 2023

A team of seven current and former Eawag researchers will receive the Swiss Chemical Society’s Sandmeyer Prize in 2024 for the development of advanced wastewater treatment for the degradation of micropollutants using ozone. And the most amazing thing is: Just about 15 years have passed between basic research and large-scale technical implementation. This incredible timetable was only possible thanks to the wealth of knowledge already available at Eawag and the fact that interdisciplinary collaboration is a matter of course at the Swiss aquatic research institute.

Rooftop garden of the housing cooperative Equilibre in Geneva, irrigated with treated wastewater (Photo: Eawag, Kayla Coppens).
Treat wastewater in an environmentally sustainable way ...
November 30, 2023

This research project explores vermifiltration as an alternative method for wastewater treatment. The aim is to fill knowledge gaps.

Tove Larsen (Photo: Peter Penicka, Eawag)
“I simply saw no alternative”
November 22, 2023

Chemical engineer Tove Larsen made an impact at Eawag over the course of 24 years. Besides being the first woman to hold a managerial position at Eawag in the field of urban water management, she was also initiator and head of the Novaquatis cross-cutting project, group leader and member of the Eawag Directorate. Her areas of responsibility have included urine source separation, the Blue Diversion toilet, the Water Hub and Wings.

ETH Rector Günther Dissertori presents Charlotte Bopp with the Otto Jaag Water Protection Prize 2023 (Photo: ETH, Giulia Marthaler)
Otto Jaag Water Protection Prize 2023 and ETH Medal for ...
November 21, 2023

On ETH Day, Charlotte Bopp was honoured with the Otto Jaag Water Protection Prize for her dissertation. In January, she will also receive the ETH Medal for her work.

Quagga mussels in Lake Geneva: the biomass per square metre is likely to increase by a factor of nine to 20 over the next 22 years (Photo: Eawag, Linda Haltiner).
Quagga mussel: prognosis for affected lakes
November 16, 2023

A comparison of three Swiss lakes with the Great Lakes of North America show that the quagga mussel is spreading with a similar dynamic.

Bernhard Truffer among the most cited scientists 2023 (Photo: Eawag)
Bernhard Truffer among the most cited scientists 2023
November 15, 2023

Professor Bernhard Truffer of the Eawag Water Research Institute is among the "highly cited researchers 2023".

For 30 years, Prof. Dr Rik Eggen has been committed to Eawag, its employees and water research, first as a researcher, then as head of department, later as a member of the Directorate and from 2007 to the beginning of 2023 as Deputy Director (Photo: Peter Penicka).
Rik Eggen: “I want to dive into a new life”
November 13, 2023

Professor Dr Rik Eggen worked at the aquatic research institute Eawag for three decades, including 16 years as deputy director. Now he is entering retirement.

A dredger excavates the river bed on the Alpine Rhine so that changes in groundwater flows can be observed. (Photo: Matthias Brennwald, Eawag)
Using noble gases to track groundwater flows
November 9, 2023

Over the next 20 years, Austria and Switzerland will be investing more than CHF 1.4 billion in flood protection and ecological enhancement measures on the Alpine Rhine. As well as protecting the Rhine valley against flooding, the aim is to promote careful management of groundwater resources. With a new method, scientists from Eawag and the University of Neuchâtel are providing support for International Rhine Regulation planners.