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PhD topics for academic year 2021/2022

Department of Water Technology and Environmental Engineering

Digitization of water infrastructure: Development of a digital twin wastewater treatment plant

Bartáček Jan, doc. Ing. Ph.D. ( jan...@vscht.cz)
As in other sectors, the main aspects of Industry 4.0 are increasingly being used in water management: digitization, maximum use of data, use of artificial intelligence to obtain predictive data, etc. In particular, data (on water consumption, wastewater quantity and quality, etc.) have become one of the most valuable commodities of water management and their importance will undoubtedly grow in the coming years.
The main topic of this dissertation will be the development of a digital twin of a real wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). This tool consists of a detailed database of all WWTP facilities, incl. data on operation and maintenance and energy intensity, the on-line connection of sensors, the unification of data flow, and detailed spatial description of the entire WWTP. The main goal is the ability of predictive evaluation of WWTP operation optimizations.

Ecotoxicological evaluation of drugs and micropollutants present in the ecosystem

Říhová Ambrožová Jana, doc. RNDr. Ph.D. ( amb...@vscht.cz)
Wimmerová Lenka, Ing. MSc. Ph.D. ( wim...@dekonta.cz)
The topic of the work will focus on the research of new species of algal cultures for ecotoxicity testing. Part of the work will be the preparation of alginate beads from different algal strains and determining the toxicity response in comparison with "live" algal cultures. Ecotoxicological effects will be determined on model or real samples containing micropollutants (pharmaceuticals). Examples of substances to be evaluated will be triclosan, diclofenac, glyphosate, benzotriazole, etc., and less studied drugs.

Chemical and biochemical transformations of phosphorus in wastewater treatment

Wanner Jiří, prof. Ing. DrSc. ( wan...@vscht.cz)
Srb Martin, Ing. Ph.D. ( mar...@pvk.cz)
The study will deal with chemical processes and emerging products in the precipitation of phosphates from wastewater in activated sludge. In the case of the use of precipitants based on iron III salts the influence of biological processes on the precipitation mechanism and the oxidation state of iron in precipitation products will be also studied. At the same time, the influence of low residual concentrations of phosphate phosphorus on the properties of activated sludge will be monitored both in terms of removal of selected components of pollution (eg nitrification) and microbial composition in terms of separation properties of activated sludge, formation of extracellular polymers or influence of formed precipitates on sedimentation ability. The next part of the work will focus on the possibilities of influencing the properties of activated sludge in case of increased biological phosphorus removal, competition of other components of biocenosis with poly-P bacteria and their influence on possible formation of biological foams or other separation problems.

Monitoring the occurrence and fate of antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater and the environment

Bartáček Jan, doc. Ing. Ph.D. ( jan...@vscht.cz)
The spread of antibiotic resistance is one of the world's most pressing health-related problems. Every year, the number of patients who cannot be treated with standard antibiotic treatment, because they are infected with antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, is growing. Wastewater and sewage sludge are one of the most important ways of introducing antibiotic resistance (in the form of resistant pathogenic bacteria or their genetic information - antibiotic resistance genes) into the environment.
This work will deal with the monitoring of antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater, their removal in wastewater treatment plants, and their fate after they enter the environment. The main monitored environments will be sediments of wastewater recipients and soil irrigated with recycled wastewater.

Possibilities of utilization of diamond electrodes in the wastewater treatment

Wanner Jiří, prof. Ing. DrSc. ( wan...@vscht.cz)
Srb Martin, Ing. Ph.D. ( mar...@pvk.cz)
The aim of study is utilization of advanced oxidation processes and conductive diamond electrodes for removal of micropollutants and biologically active substances in wastewater. Research of electrochemical methods used for wastewater treatment and testing of these methods for selected types of pollutants in laboratory conditions will be the basis for design, implementation and optimization of a pilot plant using a cleaning cell with diamond electrode for field testing at a real WWTP.

Reducing the risks associated with gray water recycling: Using the Internet of Things for remote monitoring and control of gray water treatment plants

Bartáček Jan, doc. Ing. Ph.D. ( jan...@vscht.cz)
The reuse of gray water, i.e. relatively little polluted water used in bathrooms, is becoming an important element of water management in today's society. Although mostly simple and reliable technologies, their operation and subsequent use inside or outside buildings is associated with significant hygienic and environmental risks. The reduction of these risks, which are often associated with imperfect operation and maintenance, can be achieved by perfect monitoring and control of the operation of treatment technologies and especially by monitoring the quality of treated water.
The aim of this dissertation will be to design and test a monitoring and control system for gray water treatment plants based on the Internet of Things (IoT). The student will look for such a set of parameters that can be measured in real-time and at the same time give the best possible information about the condition of the treatment plant and the quality of treated water. Furthermore, algorithms will be sought that will respond to faulty operating states of treatment plants so as to minimize the need for physical operation of treatment plants.

The detection, quantification and separation methods of picoplankton

Říhová Ambrožová Jana, doc. RNDr. Ph.D. ( amb...@vscht.cz)
The topic of the work will focus on picoplankton organisms (especially cyanobacteria), which are currently playing an increasingly important role in aquatic ecosystems. The work will focus on the real evaluation of water samples of waterworks or recreational reservoirs with the occurrence of picolanklanktic cyanobacteria (eg Fláje, Přísečnice, Stanovice, Hůrka, Most, etc.). New methods for detection and quantification of picolanklanktic organisms will be developed. The picoplanktic species will be detected by microscopic methods (light, fluorescence, epifluorescence, in situ hydridization), molecular biology methods (PCR, RT-PCR) will be used and the presence of genes responsible for organoleptic defects (geosmin production, etc.) or the production of cyanotoxins will be determined. Alternatively, the problems of water supply technologies suitable for the effective elimination of these small microorganisms will be discussed.
Updated: 17.2.2017 13:52, Author: Miroslav Šimek

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