PhD students experiences

Sofia Semitsoglou Tsiapou
from Greece, starting at Wetsus in 2012


I chose my PhD project through Imperial College in London; it is a unique project, actually split between the College and Wetsus Institute and I am based primarily in Wetsus. After visiting Wetsus for my interview and discussing about the project itself, I found a lot of similarities with my master’s course, also related to drinking water and oxidation processes, which I found very interesting. The facilities of the laboratory are very well-equipped and the work that has been done here so far the last years is of a high level. Another plus is the interaction with other researchers that come from a variety of backgrounds, as well as the networking possibilities that are often offered. Overall, it has been so far an experience with its ups and downs but that is definitely worth it in the end.

Prashanth Kumar from India starting at Wetsus in 2013


Are you considering to do a PhD at Wetsus and want to know how it feels like? Let me give you an insider’s view. I am Prashanth, a PhD student working in the phosphate recovery theme at Wetsus. My research focuses on removing and recovering phosphate from wastewater using adsorption. As you probably know, phosphate is an essential nutrient for us and is required in our food. The world reserves of phosphate rock are depleting and this is not good news. On the other hand, excess phosphate in wastewater discharge leads to water pollution. So why not find a combined solution to fight both problems? That’s what my research is about and I am pretty motivated to help find a solution.

But what’s special about Wetsus? At Wetsus, you have an interface where academia meets industry, which means fundamental research develops into applied research. You have the chance to realize your lab scale idea into a full scale application. Not just that, the atmosphere at Wetsus is fantastic due to the presence of knowledgeable but at the same time friendly and flexible staff. Discussions are encouraged, and people from different backgrounds collaborate to make interdisciplinary research. The research facilities here are of high standards as well. And ofcourse there is room for fun, there are several group activities organized just for that purpose. I must however add that you will definitely face a lot of challenges during your Phd. But if you are considering a PhD, you did expect that right? I thought so.

Terica Sinclair from Jamaica starting at Wetsus in 2013


Firstly I did not choose Wetsus, Wetsus chose me, after a wonderful week of introduction and getting familiar with the institute I felt at home not in the sense that I was on my island but that my colleagues were like family…
I had never heard of Leeuwarden before my arrival, it is definitely a place you have to get to know to love, but once it captures you will get to understand why it is ideal for research. I was motivated to do my project as I had never wanted to just write a book to be placed on a shelf else I would have paid attention in literature class and become an author. My project like many projects here at Wetsus seek to really make a difference in water technology and inturn the quality of life we have. Wetsus bridges the gap between academic research and real life engineering by providing the platform to see your work go to a concept to a live product. It is also a melting pot for local, regional and international correspondence and networking.

Jan Willem van Egmond from The Netherlands starting at Wetsus in 2014


PhD researcher on topic: “Alternative application of salinity gradient energy systems”.
For me the choice to come and work at Wetsus was a straightforward one. 
I wanted to work on a technology which might actually make a difference. Since I already did my master thesis at Wetsus, I already knew that the facilities are great, the people are kind and that I would be able to meet interesting companies and people. But in the end working at Wetsus is simply a lot of fun and I get to learn a lot in the process!

combining scientific excellence with commercial relevance