Jointly meeting global challenges Annual report 2012

 

Cornelissen and Harmsen win 2012 Willem Koerselman Award

1 December 2012Organisation

Emile Cornelissen and Danny Harmsen are the winners of the 2012 Willem Koerselman Award. The researchers – both members of KWR’s Drinking Water Treatment team – are handed the award from the their former colleague Willem Koerselman, after whom the award is named, for their article: “Membrane fouling and process performance of forward osmosis membranes on activated sludge” published in the Journal of Membrane Science. The annual Willem Koerselman Award is given by KWR to its researchers whose peer-reviewed article was most cited over the preceding year.

The winning article was written in 2008 by Emile Cornelissen, Danny Harmsen, former colleague Peter Wessels, together with researchers from Waternet and PUB, the Singapore water company. It offers the first description of the innovative Osmotic Membrane Bioreactor (OMBR), a system that uses forward osmosis to treat wastewater. “At the time,” says Cornelissen, “the race was on to see which researchers would be the first to publish on OMBR, the system that we had patented. It was great that we were the ones who succeeded in doing it.”

Research that contributes to the production of water and energy

Research into OMBR is not self-contained. It is part of broader research into the use of forward osmosis in (waste)water treatment. In 2010 it received a new boost by the Sewer Mining project, which involves the use of raw wastewater instead of activated sludge. Indeed, it is partly thanks to the increase in forward osmosis research that the 2008 article about OMBR has been cited so often. “More than 100 times over the past few years, of which 40 in 2012,” says Cornelissen. “It’s really nice that, apart from gaining a reputation in the field, we have also won our ‘own’ Willem Koerselman Award.”

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