Jaap van der Graaf Award awarded to Arnoud de Wilt

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The Jaap van der Graaf Award was presented to Arnoud de Wilt on 11 January 2019, during the 71th Drinking Water and Waste Water Symposium (‘Vakantiecursus’) at Delft University of Technology. This annual prize is given in recognition of the best English-language article about waste water treatment, written by a student or researcher and published during the preceding year. The winning article was published in the journal Water Research under the title ‘Enhanced pharmaceutical removal from water in a three step bio-ozone-bio process’.

An independent jury considered 59 entries, all of high quality. The names of the three finalists and the overall winner were announced during the Symposium. The jury members based their deliberations on five key criteria: societal relevance, innovation, practicality (with a view to implementation in the short to medium term), scientific content and language. The jury chose the article by De Wilt about the removal of pharmaceuticals by a 3 step bio ozone bio process as overall winner. The article was selected because of the pragmatic approach and well described solutions for one of the largest challenges that Waterboards are facing at this moment – the ever-increasing presence of pharmaceuticals in waste- and surface water.

From the jury report: 'Very interesting, directly applicable, with a clear and comprehensive cost calculation! Although the individual processes are not that innovative, as they are already commercially available, the jury members appreciated the tangible results that show the enhanced performance of using ozone, which is conventionally used as a disinfectant to kill micro-organisms, in synergy with microbiological treatment for the removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater.’

The Jaap van der Graaf Award is sponsored by consultancy and engineering firm Witteveen+Bos, which created the award in 2009 to mark the retirement of Jaap van der Graaf as Professor of Waste Water Treatment at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at TU Delft. Prof. Van der Graaf has close ties with the Deventer-based company, having been its managing director from 1988 to 2003. The prize is awarded annually and the winner receives 5,000 euros and a glass trophy.

Entries are judged by an independent panel, which this year comprised Professor Jules van Lier (Delft University of Technology/Unesco-IHE, chair), Dr Ralph Lindeboom (Delft University of Technology, jury secretary), Dr Jelle Roorda (Waterschap Limburg/Delft University of Technology/Waternetwerk), Cor Merks, MSc (Witteveen+Bos), Dr Hardy Temmink (WUR/Wetsus), Dr Jasper Verberk (Evides), Professor Gertjan Medema (Delft University of Technology/KWR Water), Ad de Man, MSc (Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg), Dr Arjen van Nieuwenhuijzen (Witteveen+Bos).