Een waterzuiveringsinstallatie in het buitenland - opleiding Chemische Technologie Saxion

International Water Technology

Although the quality and quantity of water in Netherlands is considered reliable, in many parts of the world the access to sufficient and safe water is a challenge. This challenge will increase in the coming decades with increasing world population and urbanization and the drive towards greening our economy by a transition to bio-based fuels and raw materials.

Within the research group International Water Technology (IWT) students are being trained and are performing applied research and development to get insight into the technological and economic value of water, and future developments in the field of sustainable water technology and durable water management. In short, they enter into their WWW: Water Works Worldwide!

The education and research within the research group International Water Technology is centered around water in urban and rural environment.

Climate Resilient Cities

In Twente, governmental authorities, educational & research institutes and entrepreneurs are working on the realization of a sustainable urban water cycle. In connection to the recognition to the stakeholders and (inter)national students, the Saxion Living Technology focal point, the national top sectors (Water, Chemistry, Energy, Life Sciences), the research group International Water Technology used for her education &-research the motto ' Cities of the Future – Water in the urban environment'.

In the current historically grown structure of the (urban) water systems large amounts of water and energy are being used less optimally, while many nutrients are being destroyed. In the 'City of the Future', the entire water cycle has to be redesigned, so that optimal water (re)use is combined with maximum energy and nutrient recovery guaranteeing the water quality and safety.

In other words, the optimal water resources is managed in a sustainable way by a good urban design, which consists of several water distribution systems from various sources, where water reuse and water-fit-for-use are leading and only a part of the water will be treated to the level of drinking water. Part of this integrated approach is approaching waste water as a source of raw materials for water recycling; and recovery of heat, organic compounds (biogas, bio-based raw materials), nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), (rare) heavy metals; and guaranteeing the quality in relation to the intended use (e.g. removals of micro-pollutants). In the design of the (future) water systems the challenges related to climate change should also be taken into account, such as heavier showers, periods of extreme drought, heat stress, etc., so the realization of the ' climate-proof or climate resilient cities.

Research lines

The education and research within the research group International Water Technology is centered around water in urban and rural environment. In the 'City of the Future', the entire water cycle is redesigned and adapted, so that optimal water (re-)use is combined with a maximum energy recovery, nutrient recycling, and guaranteed water supply, quality and safety.

The research within the Saxion research group International Water Technology focuses on:

1. Water & Energy

  • Bio-based energy (anaerobic digestion)
  • Oil/gas (produced) water treatment.

2. Water & Materials

  • Health & Safety (membrane and sensor technology for EDCs removal)
  • Bio-based raw materials (recovery of nutrients, such as phosphate).

3. Water & Environment

  • Climate Resilient Cities (sustainable water cycle)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (decentralization, PoU/PoE water treatment)
  • Capacity Building

Besides research facilities within the premises of Saxion the research group International Water Technology has an unique test location at the nearby WWTP Glanerburg, called WECTwente.


A great success for the region in which the research group International Water Technology and the professor in particular have played a significant role, is the realization of the 'Water Experiment Center of Twente' (WECTwente) located on the WWTP Glanerbrug. It is a joint initiative of Pentair X-Flow, Jotem Water Treatment, RWB, Saxion and the water board Vechtstromen, where companies are working together with an educational and research institute, end-users, and governmental institutions. Previously, researchers had to investigate new purification techniques at a small-scale testing set-up in a lab or at location in a sea container. In the indoor hall, new technologies can be tested directly on the different water flows available at a wastewater treatment plant. One of the advantages is that the companies involved can show their potential customers a working installation under real life conditions

The aspirations for the research group IWT are two-fold: on the one hand facilitating companies or end-users that want to carry out smaller research projects and do not have the research facilities and/or crew; on the other hand, the cooperation with the ROC of Twente and the University of Twente by deploying their students in the research projects through internships and/or (MSc/PhD) thesis projects.

More information and video's WECTwente

GreenSource combines synthetic turf and water filtration, using ultrafiltration technology, to offer sports facilities and water treatment to supply drinking water, or irrigation water. This applies particularly in areas where water shortages prevail or only polluted water is available. The system includes the construction of an underground water storage tank in which rainwater, water from rivers, dams and especially ground water (boreholes) can be stored. On top of the underground water storage basin an artificial turf system is installed that can be used as a playground for children.

GreenSource: a social place

There will be multiple tap points installed because when the system is in full operation it can provide max. 50 liters of filtered and safe drinking water every minute. To store the filtration unit and to supply water to the people a small building will be put next to the school or other local municipality facilities. This building will also contain a small classroom in which trainers can educate technical workers on how to install and maintain the system. For children this can be the place to learn about water, water use, water safety, all kind of materials and techniques and to get an insight in the working of the GreenSource system. The combination of functional use for water supply and storage of the filtration units together with the classroom and the playground makes GreenSource a social place where people out of the community come together. To secure the system from mismanagement and vandalism all systems will be placed next to a school or other local municipality facilities.

Saxion is responsible for the capacity building, including the development of educational training materials, training local people for supervision, operation & maintenance, and educating local instructors according to train-the-trainer concept.

More information GreenSource

The project GreenSource project is supported by the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The EnvYJobs project aims to enhance students knowledge in environmental engineering and to make their skills and competences more attractive for their (future) stakeholders.

Environmental problems go over national and regional borders. We all agree that solving these challenges can only happen through concrete and coordinated actions at EU and international level. To achieve this aim we need adequate training and access to higher and practical skills through better educational and training systems. Mutual learning in the field of environmental engineering between different actors in the European higher education system using the exchange of good practice and implementing innovative tools and instruments is the rationale of the EnvYJobs project.

Triangle: education, innovation, employability

Concerning the knowledge triangle work, the EnvYJobs project starts from the idea that higher education is in the middle of a triangle formed by three important connected points: education, innovation and employability.

More information EnvYJobs project

The project EnvYJobs is supported by the Erasmus+ Programme – Strategic Partnership - Project Nr: 2015-1-RO01-KA203-015089

With increasing access to healthcare all over the world, more and more drugs are prescribed. With increased prescription more drugs end up in the sewage system and eventually in the surface and ground water. This is also the case in the Netherlands. Examples of drugs that are found in wastewater are diabetes drugs, metformin, contraceptives (estradiol) and the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac.

MEDUWA (MEDicines Unwanted in Water) develops innovative solutions to avoid emissions of pharmaceuticals and multi-resistant microorganisms into soil, water, air, and food.

Detection and removal of diclofenac

With the addition of diclofenac to the watch list of substances to be monitored by all member states of the EU and the possibility of a restriction of the amount of diclofenac allowed in the effluent of wastewater treatment, it becomes more and more urgent to develop simple and cheap ways for detection and removal of diclofenac from wastewater.

New online inline water detection techniques

Saxion will focus on the development of new online inline detection techniques to monitor the concentration levels of different medicines which can be used to control and optimise the processing of removal technologies such as nanofiltration. Next, Saxion will also investigate the potential of nanofiltration to remove these micro-pollutants from surface water used for drinking water production and as final treatment of municipal wastewater prior to discharge meeting the strict EU regulations.

More information MEDUWA - Vecht(e) project

The project MEDUWA-Vecht(e) is supported by the INTERREG Va-Program Deutschland-Nederland 2014-2020 – Project Nr.: 142118

Tap water is healthy and sustainable. Drinking water contributes to a healthy lifestyle. It contains important minerals such as calcium and has 0 calories. It is at least 400x less damaging to the environment than packaged beverages. Drink water is healthier than drinking sweet drinks (

Fair distribution of clean drinking water worldwide

Join the Pipe ( is committed actively on a fair distribution of clean drinking water worldwide and works closely together with companies, municipalities, schools, sports clubs and festivals by making them switch to tap water. Tap water is a healthy alternative to sugary drinks, is ideal for the sports to keep moving longer.

Sustainable drinking water bottles for school children in Africa

The profits from the Join the Pipe products, such as the sustainable BOGO water bottle and tap systems, are used to finance water projects in developing countries; e.g. Join the Pipe supplies sustainable drinking water bottles to school children in Africa. The bottles ensure that children can drink water in a hygienic way without wasting.

The research group IWT supports the initiative of Join the Pipe by letting students work on projects to develop new water products and to increase the awareness of safe water. AN example of such a project is the development of a several versions of an attractive BOGO dispensing machine, which can be plaved at public places or festivals.

More information Join the Pipe bidon dispenser project

Work together for Bèta Citizenship

In the project ‘Work together for Bèta Citizenship’ learning programmes and activities are developed and tested by teachers of primary and secondary schools themselves in order to learn pupils the relevance of beta and technique, but also the social relevance of technique.

Five companies (Machine factory Boessenkool, VDL Enabling Technology Group and URENCO, technical Museum Hengelo (HEIM), Wetsus, research group International Water Technology) are supporting the eight primary and three secondary schools to offer background information for the several topics, and facilities such as guest lectures and practical training facilities.

Plastic soup

The research group International Water Technology facilitates the topic of bioplastic in relation to sustainable water technology, also known unfortunately as the ‘plastic soup’ problem.

More information Work together for Bèta Citizenship project

The Work together for Bèta Citizenship project is supported by the Expertise Centre TechYourFuture (TYF)

Cooperation and financial support

The research within the research group International Water Technology is supported financially by  and performed in part jointly with Pentair X-Flow BV, while Wetsus – centre of excellence for sustainable water technology – provides financial support and the Centre of Expertise Water technology (CEW) cooperates content wise.

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Het team

Marijke Goeree-Scholten

Marijke Goeree-Scholten

Project Support

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Caroline ter Horst


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Anne-Corine IJzer


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Danny Jannink

Danny Jannink

Technician Researcher

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Patrick de Lange

Patrick de Lange


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Ngoc Ngo

Manager Strategic Partnerships

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Erik Sikkema

Erik Sikkema


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Ruben Timmers

Ruben Timmers


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