Francqui inaugural and further lectures by David Sedlak

On the Francqui foundation and Francqui chair

The purpose of the Francqui Foundation, set up by Emile Francqui and Herbert Hoover in 1932, is to encourage the prestige of disinterested fundamental research and provides Belgian scholars and scientists with indisputable moral support. The statutes clearly state that its objective is "to further the development of higher education and scientific research in Belgium". This implicitly means that interuniversity collaboration is also encouraged. Each year, each university may propose the organization of one or more courses of lectures on a particular subject. The Foundation will invite a Belgian or foreign professor to hold the Chair and organize an educational course of the highest level in his field.


The speaker

David Sedlak is professor in Mineral Engineering, co-director of Berkeley Water Center, and director of the Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering (IESE). His research focuses on the fate of chemical contaminants, with the long-term goal of developing cost-effective, safe, and sustainable systems to manage water resources. He is particularly interested in the development of local sources of water. His research has addressed water reuse as well as the treatment and use of urban runoff to contaminated groundwater form contaminated industrial sites as water supplies. He also is the author of "Water 4.0", a book that examines the ways in which we can gain insight into current water issues by understanding the history of urban water systems.



Monday 17th August, 9.00-12.00 (room E2.009): Taking the Waste out of Wastewater

This first lecture focuses on water reuse and its role in our future water supply, using recent experiences in California, Texas and Singapore as examples. In the second half we will discuss the recovery of nutrients, minerals and energy from wastewater.

Monday 17th August, 13.30-15.30 (room E2.009): Putting Nature to Work

This lecture discusses Dr Sedlak’s research on constructed wetlands and groundwater infiltration systems. There would be an emphasis on emerging contaminants in much of this talk. The second part of the session discusses riverbank filtration or managed natural systems for urban runoff.

Tuesday 18th August, 9.00-12.00 (room E2.009): The Water/Energy Connection

This third lecture examines the ways in which energy is used in urban water systems, both direct consumption and embedded energy. This lecture would also get into some of the challenges and opportunities associated with distributed treatment systems. The second half could include specific technologies or planning of urban water systems.

Tuesday 18th August, 17.00-21.00 (room E1.012): Looking to the Past to Create a Better Future – INAUGURAL LECTURE followed by a reception

This 1-hour lecture will look back at Water 4.0 and the evolution of urban water systems over time, introduce some of the challenges that we are facing and start to think about how the past can serve to guide us in the future.

Wednesday 19th August, 9.00-12.00 (room E1.015): Plan 2050: A Path Forward for Urban Water Systems

This lecture will involve a synthesis of the steps that we would need to take to transition urban water systems to the ideas described in Water 4.0. The lecture would investigate some of major institutional and technological barriers associated with the urban water transformation. In the second part of the session, experts will join who could discuss what plan 2050 looks like in European cities and megacities in the developing world.



Faculty of Bioscience engineering
Coupure Links 653
9000 GENT



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Available material

Soon, the material from the lectures will be available here.