EBNet Webinar: How to Engineer a Microbial Ecosystem – Fundamentals of Environmental Biotech

Tuesday, 26th January 2021 at 12:00 – 1:30 pm

This event is FREE-TO-MEMBERS. Register through Eventbrite here. Non-members are welcome – join the Network for free prior to registration. Alternatively, email us.

In place of our Research Colloquium 2021, EBNet are hosting a series of specialist webinars to support knowledge exchange amongst members. Register now to join the EBNet webinar “How to Engineer a Microbial Ecosystem – Fundamentals of Environmental Biotech“. Hear the latest developments and participate in the online chat to engage with questions.

Featuring :

Chair: Professor Tom Curtis, University of Newcastle

Research Interests: Biological Treatment Systems; Experimental and Theoretical Microbial Ecology. One of the core technologies in Environmental Engineering is biological waste treatment. Nearing their centenary, biological treatment methods have, due to their astonishing complexity (there are over 5000 “species” in a single plant), been developed empirically. Empirical research is subject to the law of diminishing returns. Moreover, many of these technologies are not, in the long run, sustainable because of the energy that they consume, the greenhouse gasses they emit and the resources (energy, nitrogen and phosphorous) that are lost in the process. In the rich world, the price of energy and the cost of carbon is already putting water utilities under pressure. In the majority world these costs are, or will become, simply prohibitive. It is fortunate therefore that biology in general and microbial ecology in particular is in a golden age, as revolutionary new methods are being developed that have given us an unprecedented ability to interrogate these communities. I have been active in the development and application of these technologies in engineered and non-engineered biological systems. The logic is obvious: we must use the new biology to create a new wastewater treatment technology.

Further reading

Want some in-depth background reading to get up-to-speed on the acronyms? Try:

Challenges in microbial ecology: building predictive understanding of community function and dynamics
Stefanie Widder et al.
The ISME Journal volume 10, pages 2557–2568 (2016)

EBNet Webinar: FOG/Fatberg Mitigation and Societal Behaviour – Aspects of Environmental Biotech

Tuesday, 9th February 2021 at 12:00 – 1:30 pm

This event is FREE-TO-MEMBERS. Register through Eventbrite here. Non-members are welcome – join the Network for free prior to registration. Alternatively, email Louise and Angie.

In place of our Research Colloquium 2021, EBNet are hosting a series of specialist webinars to support knowledge exchange amongst members. Register now to join the EBNet webinar “FOG/Fatberg Mitigation and Societal Behaviour – Aspects of Environmental Biotech“. Hear the latest developments from top speakers and participate in the online chat to engage with questions.

Featuring presentations from:

Dr Mar Batista, Technical Manager, British Water

Title: Adding value to the engineering: Societal and behavioural factors in FOG management

Mar started her involvement with the water industry in 2005 as a consultant in the irrigation sector in Spain. Mar has a broad understanding of the current water and environmental challenges due to her education as an agricultural engineer and her doctorate education in environmental science and sustainable water treatment. Mar is responsible for British Water’s technical services including the company publications portfolio, 7 technical focus groups, technical conferences and the secretariat of the Grease Contractors Association and BIM4Water group.

Natalia Jawiarczyk, Cranfield University

Title: Bioremediation of oil-rich wastewater: Managing sewer FOG deposits with bio-additive products

Natalia joined Cranfield Water in October 2017. The aim of Natalia’s EngD project as a part of the Industrial Doctorate Centre for the Water Sector (STREAM) is to establish how fat, oil and grease (FOG) deposits form in the sewer network and how they can be effectively rehabilitated and inhibited using bio-additives. She is focusing on understanding the factors contributing to deposition to enable more accurate targeting of bio-additive strategies. Natalia’s work is funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Severn Trent Water.

Natalia is an active STEM Ambassador and a member of the Cranfield Doctoral Community (CDC) for Water, Energy, Design and Agrifood committee. The role of the CDC is to bring researchers together and to build strong Research Culture.

Further reading

Want some in-depth background reading to get up-to-speed on the acronyms? Try these latest papers.

Potential influence of sewer heat recovery on in-sewer processes
Mohamad Abdel-Aal, Raffaella Villa, Natalia Jawiarczyk, Luca Alibardi, Henriette Jensen, Alma Schellart, Bruce Jefferson, Paul Shepley, Simon Tait
Water Sci Technol. 2019 Dec;80(12):2344-2351.

“Unflushables”: Establishing a global agenda for action on everyday practices associated with sewer blockages, water quality, and plastic pollution
Cecilia Alda‐Vidal, Alison L. Browne, Claire Hoolohan
WIRES Water; Jul2020, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p1-15, 15p

Understanding why fat, oil and grease (FOG) bioremediation can be unsuccessful
C.Gurd, R.Villa, B.Jefferson
Journal of Environmental Management. Volume 267, 1 August 2020, 110647

National Biofilm Innovation Centre (NBIC) Events

Many of the microbial consortia utilised in environmental biotechnology for environmental protection, bioremediation and resource recovery are a subset of a larger biofilm community. Visit NBIC News and Events and Noticeboard for their latest activities. DON’T MISS: NBIC Software Carpentry workshop (Python) organised by the Software Sustainability Institute, teaching writing, …

CIWEM Events

The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) holds events and courses which may be of interest to EBNet members. Selected current events include: Flood and Coast 2020: Digital sessions continue throughout the remainder of this year and into 2021. Fabricated Soils (FABSoil) Project Webinar, 8 Dec 20, 5:30-6:30 …