Internship: upscaling dewatering research

  • Eawag
  • Dübendorf, ZH, Switzerland
  • 19/02/2021
Full time Data Science Data Analytics Big Data Data Management Statistics

Job Description

Faecal sludge generally consists of >95% water, making dewatering an essential part of treatment. However, faecal sludge is highly heterogeneous, making it difficult to determine appropriate conditioner dosing for dewatering. The Management of Excreta, Wastewater and Sludge (MEWS) group at Sandec is conducting research on faecal sludge dewatering at fundamental, empirical and applied levels. Fundamental research includes understanding the governing mechanisms between biological, physical and chemical parameters, and applied research includes how to scale that knowledge for implementations. We are currently collaborating with CubeX, a startup based in Beirut, Lebanon. CubeX is developing a mobile faecal sludge dewatering unit for application in rural areas and informal settlements in Lebanon. In the first half of 2021, they are collecting information on faecal sludge characteristics and dewaterability to inform the development of the dewatering unit.

We are looking for an intern to adapt knowledge on conditioner dosing for faecal sludge dewatering for full-scale application in this emergency humanitarian context. This includes evaluating current research results to develop experiments together with the MEWS project manager, working in the lab at Eawag to do bench-scale tests, collaborating with experts from the field to identify local needs and analyzing data generated by CubeX. The goal is that this internship will contribute to improved dewatering in emergency settings. Approximately 50% of the workload of this internship will be laboratory work at Eawag in Dübendorf, the other 50% is desk-based data analysis.


The responsibilities of the intern are

  • Based on existing research, develop an experimental plan to evaluate conditioner dose
  • Conduct laboratory tests on blackwater and faecal sludge, including characterization and dewatering tests
  • Collaborate with implementing partners to identify needs in the field
  • Use different bench-scale dewatering technologies, such as geotextile bags and screw press
    Analyze laboratory results and field data obtained by CubeX

Candidates for this position should have the following qualifications

  • Enrolled in a Swiss master’s program during the entire course of the internship
  • Study background in environmental engineering, or similar field
  • Fundamental knowledge on wastewater/faecal sludge management
  • Laboratory skills appropriate for wastewater analysis
  • Data analysis skills, experience with R is preferred
  • Fluency in English (spoken and written)
  • Capability to collaborate with research partners and stakeholders
  • Willingness to do an internship fully based in Switzerland, but also travel abroad if possible
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing plans depending on travel restrictions

Internship duration and reimbursement
Duration: five months, the position will start mid-April 2021. Eawag will provide an intern salary and cover travel expenses

Place of work
The intern will be based at Eawag in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Depending on the global pandemic and ever-changing travel restrictions, the possibility exists for two months of the internship to take place with CubeX in Lebanon.

Ms Nienke Andriessen, Mr Michael Vogel and Dr Linda Strande (Eawag).
The deadline for applications will be open until the position is filled.

For further information about the internship, please contact Nienke Andriessen More information about Eawag is available at

We look forward to receiving your application (a cover letter and CV) through the Eawag webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. Please click on the button below, this will take you directly to the application form