Job Title: Director of CentrEau
Company: Water Research Center of Université Laval
City and State: Québec, Canada
Member Association: Réseau Environnement
Peter Vanrolleghem is a member of the 2017-2018 Board of Trustees for the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international organization of water quality professionals headquartered in Alexandria, Va.
Peter holds the Canada Research Chair on Water Quality Modelling and is the director of CentrEau, the interdisciplinary Water Research Center of Université Laval in Québec. He is a full professor in the university’s Civil and Water Engineering department.
Peter’s multicultural research team, modelEAU (“eau” is French for water), consists of three postdoctoral researchers, two research assistants, 12 doctoral students and five masters students. His teaching responsibilities include pollution dispersion, wastewater treatment, river basin management, and modeling and control of the urban wastewater system.
Peter’s research focuses on urban wastewater systems and tackles challenges such as nutrient removal and recovery, micropollutants and greenhouse gases by developing and using mathematical models, automated monitoring stations, process control and performing in-house pilot and full-scale experimental work. Peter has published more than 400 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has been instrumental in the development of the WEST modelling and simulation software for wastewater systems, next to robust measurement devices such as respirometers for use in water resource recovery facilities.
Throughout his career, Peter has been involved at the global level, and he has participated in large international research projects. His involvement in the International Water Association (IWA) included chairing a specialist group, initiating task groups, and serving on IWA’s Strategic Council and its Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016. He was a guest professor at École Polytechnique in Montréal (1998), Lund University in Sweden (2003), the Technical University of Denmark (2012) and most recently EAWAG, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology.
Peter has participated actively in WEF since he became a member in 1996, but stepped up his involvement after his move to Canada from Belgium in 2006. Since then, he has served as chair of MEGA, the Modeling Expert Group of the Americas, Quebec delegate in the House of Delegates, and for many years has been a member of the Research and Innovation Symposium subcommittee. He organized a number of conferences in North America, including the highly innovative IWA/WEF Water Resource Recovery Modeling Seminar in Québec City.
Peter has undergraduate and graduate degrees in bioengineering – industrial microbiology from Ghent University in Belgium. He also has a Ph.D in bioengineering – environmental technology from Ghent University. Peter is a registered professional engineer in Québec.