BIWA Award history


Awarded to: Lai Peng
In: 2018
Affiliation: University of Antwerp

For his paper Smart operation of nitritation/denitritation virtually abolishes nitrous oxide emission during treatment of co-digested pig slurry concentrate

To refer to this paper, please use the following:

Lai Peng, José M. Carvajal-Arroyo, Dries Seuntjens, Delphine Prat, Giovanni Colica, Cristina Pintucci, Siegfried E. Vlaeminck, Smart operation of nitritation/denitritation virtually abolishes nitrous oxide emission during treatment of co-digested pig slurry centrate, Water Research, Volume 127, 2017, Pages 1-10, ISSN 0043-1354,


Awarded to: Andreia Amaral
In: 2018
Affiliation: Ghent University

For her paper Towards advanced aeration modelling: from blowers to bubbles to bulk.

To refer to this paper, please use the following reference:

A. Neves do Amaral, O. Schraa, L. Rieger, S. Gillot, Y. Fayolle, G. Bellandi, Y. Amerlinck, S. Mortier, R. Gori, R. Neves, I. Nopens (2017). Towards advanced aeration modelling: from blower to bubbles to bulk. Water Science and Technology, 75(3), 507-517,

Development Collaboration

Awarded to: Korneel Rabaey and Srikanth Mutnuri
In: 2018
Affiliation: Ghent University and Birla Institute of Technology & Science

For their project The Empowered Septic Tank. This project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation aimed at providing a sanitation solution for community toilets. Annually, millions of Indian citizens suffer from infectious diseases associated with such release of untreated water in open drainage systems. BITS and Ghent University jointly developed a highly compact, electricity driven system that treats septage as well as disinfects it.


Lifetime Achievement

Awarded to: Boudewijn Van De Steene
In: 2018
Affiliation: Aquafin/De Watergroep

The jury motivates its decision as follows:

With employee number 2, Boudewijn Van De Steene was one of the founding fathers of Aquafin, created in 1990 as a public-private partnership to accelerate the treatment of domestic sewage in Flanders. As Director of Planning he was responsible for an investment programme representing several billion euros in total. In 2002, the Flemish Government revisited the role of Aquafin, in function of the Water Framework Directive and Integrated Water Management. At that time, Boudewijn took on the role of Commercial Director, and also Aquaplus was part of his responsibilities.

It should be clear that Boudewijn left a significant mark on the practical execution of the waste water treatment policy in Flanders over the last decades. He helped Aquafin to become a reference in the European water sector. Also R&D was part of his responsibilities. As part time professor at Antwerp University he understood the importance of scientific innovation, and he regularly participated to conferences. He was an active member of B-IWA and EurEau and gave his full support to those organisations.  He managed to attract the 6th IWA Specialty Conference on Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse for Sustainability to Antwerp in 2007. An attempt to bring the IWA World Conference to Belgium, a dossier into which he put his whole weight, was unfortunately a near miss. In 2012, the Flemish Government appointed Boudewijn as the new Director-General of ‘De Vlaamse Maatschappij voor Watervoorziening’, currently known as ‘De Watergroep’. From waste water to drinking water, it seems simple, but it was a more significant change than anticipated.  He was instrumental in the companany’s name change, which also reflected the renewed dynamic vision and mission of the organisation. At De Watergroep he also elaborated with the board the Plan 2014-2020, with a clear vision for the future. This plan also allowed De Watergroep to achieve several acquisitions in the sector.

At the personal level he was a ‘man of all seasons’: wise in his decisions, respected in his profession, experienced in democratic decision making, strict, transparent and entrusting with his collaborators.