What microbial technologies show major potential for the needs of the next decades?

The Annual Lorch Lecture is a series of lectures by influential figures in water. This year’s speaker is Professor Willy Verstraete of Ghent University.

Professor Verstraete obtained a PhD degree in the field of microbiology at the Cornell University, Ithaca (USA) in 1971. He then moved to Gent University (Belgium) and in 1979 he was appointed Professor and head of the Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology (LabMET - Faculty of Bioscience Engineering). Since October 2011, he has become Emeritus Professor. His R&D has as central theme: Microbial Resource Management; i.e. the design, operation and control of processes mediated by mixed microbial cultures. W. Verstraete has field experience with respect to drinking water production plants (slow sand filtration), aerobic wastewater treatment (in particular with respect to nitrification - denitrification), anaerobic digestion of wastewaters and sludges, solid state fermentation of organic residues and bioremediation processes of soils and sediments. He has also gained experience in various aspects of pre- and probiotics used in human and animal nutrition and in systems, which simulate the latter.

W. Verstraete has been instrumental in the creation of several successful spin-offs, both in Belgium and abroad in the field of applied microbial ecology (environmental technology; health; food and feed). W. Verstraete served in various international review panels. Some examples are: the DELFT-Cluster and SENSE research schools in the Netherlands, the EPFL environmental study centre in Lausanne Switzerland, the Helmholtz research institute Leipzig Germany, the Environmental Biotechnology Cooperative Research Centre in Brisbane Australia and the Danish GEUS Institute on water and climate change.

Professor Verstraete has supervised numerous master and doctoral students and has received national and international prizes for their scientific achievements. Amongst the international recognition, In October 2016, Nature Microbiology published a new archaeal phylum Verstraetearchaeota, recognizing the contributions of Professor Verstraete team at the Ghent University to the development of engineered microbial ecosystems.

Event Programme

17:00-17:30 Registration with tea and coffee served
17:30-18:30 Lecture given by Professor Willy Verstraete

Location and travel details

Stafford Cripps, SC1.

Who should attend

Academics, Students, Industry, Suppliers, Schools, General public, Local government.


Free to attend.