Research project: Application of models in view of improved operation of WRRFs

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  • Published date: September 10, 2019
    • Gent, Belgium

This 2-year appointment aims at the development of intelligent control and operator decision support tools (including a digital twin) at the water resource recovery facility (WRRF) of Eindhoven (managed by Waterboard The Dommel) and an industrial WRRF.

Digitalization in general and the applications of models in intelligent control and operator decision support tools receive increasing attention in water resource recovery. BIOMATH is currently looking for an enthusiastic person to join the team, who will contribute to its research and to the execution of 2 projects in this field.
Waterboard The Dommel is a Waterboard governing an area in the southern part of the Netherlands. The serviced area, including the city of Eindhoven, is about 1510 km² and has about 840000 inhabitants. WDD governs 8 municipal wastewater treatment plants and one sludge treatment facility (www.dommel.nl). Waterboard The Dommel is unique in the sense that their strategy and vision are based on innovation through collaboration with scientific partners. This resulted in a high degree of digitalization at the WRRF and innovative projects.
With a treatment capacity of 750,000 population equivalents, the WRRF of Eindhoven (The Netherlands) is the largest treatment plant of Waterboard De Dommel and the third largest in The Netherlands. Over several years now, a mechanistic process model of the WRRF of Eindhoven has been developed, implemented (in WEST, https://www.mikepoweredbydhi.com/products/west ) and applied during the upgrade planned by the Waterboard to meet the challenges related to the EU Water Framework Directive. The result is a model predicting the effluent quality with a high accuracy and in which the Waterboard puts its trust to make decisions. The next challenge for the model, set forth by the Waterboard, is the application of the model in training and support of the operators and plant staff.
The challenges in this project are twofold, i.e. a further fine tuning of the model and the coupling of the model with the virtual SCADA system. In first instance, a coupling of the model with the virtual SCADA system, which is already developed at the WWTP, is foreseen. Your role will be to support the integration engineers at the Waterboard with the knowledge on the model and the software. In second instance, a further fine tuning of the model is foreseen in order for the model to be used as a digital twin (a.o. mimicking the control handles, reimplementation of the smart buffer control system, implementation of a compartmental model and calibration of the settling model).
The second project deals with the development of an intelligent (model based) control system for an industrial water resource recovery facility (applying membrane bioreactor technology). Your role will be to develop the controller models and objectives in close collaboration with the industrial partner.
The projects are very much driven by the needs of the waterboard and the industrial partner and, as such, are close to the application and practice.

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