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International ABWET-EJD programme celebrates a super week: five doctoral defences on waste-to-energy technologies

Ramita Khanongnuch
The doctoral dissertation of MSc (Tech) Ramita Khanongnuch titled Hydrogen Sulfide Removal from Synthetic Biogas using Anoxic Biofilm Reactors was publicly examined in the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Science at Tampere University on Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Harvest from the European ABWET-EJD joint degree programme will be reaped at Tampere University this week. Altogether five doctoral defences on sustainable waste water treatment and related energy production will take place under the Bio and Circular Economy research group.

Jointly organised by four European universities, ABWET-EJD (Advanced Biological Waste-To-Energy Technologies programme) was the first European joint degree programme on doctoral level in Finland. Altogether fifteen early stage researchers participated in the programme that was funded by the European Commission from 2015 to 2018. Four graduated in 2018 and five will defend their theses this week.

ABWET provided PhD-level education and research on environmental technologies that convert waste materials into bioenergy. The focus was on the fundamental and applied research of different conversion technologies and the development of innovative recovery and reuse technologies with enhanced market potential.

At Tampere University, the programme was coordinated by the Bio and Circular Economy research group from the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences.  The other three beneficiaries in the programme included the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio in Italy, Université Paris-Est in France and UNESCO-IHE in the Netherlands.

Great career launch and valuable colleague network

One of the graduating doctors is Ramita Khanongnuch from Thailand. In her dissertation, she examined the extraction of hydrogen sulfide from synthetic biogas using nitrate-containing wastewaters. Her results promote environmentally-friendly and sustainable biogas cleanup.

Khanongnuch joined the ABWET-EJD programme in December 2015 and defended her dissertation today. She chose the programme because it fit in nicely with her career aims.

“The ABWET programme has provided skills and experiences that are very useful for me when continuing my research career. I want to work in the academic field as a postdoc.  At current, I am looking for a job in Finland or elsewhere in the EU,” Khanongnuch says.

Although a certain era comes to an end for the graduates with this defence week, the network accumulated during the programme remains. The participants have formed a special, close network.

“This programme provided great opportunities to meet professional people in my research field and a very international bunch of colleagues. This programme also organized many summer schools and conferences, so we have met often between the participants,” Khanongnuch notes.

During the dissertation process, Khanongnuch has lived in Tampere for a total of 2.5 years and enjoyed her time here.

“I really like Tampere, particularly Hervanta. It is such a quiet town and beautiful nature is all around. I also prefer the Finnish weather,  because it is so hot in my home country, Thailand,” Khanongnuch concludes.

Dissertations

Tue 21 May at 9:15 am Ramita Khanongnuch: Hydrogen sulfide removal from synthetic biogas using anoxic biofilm reactors

Wed 22 May 2019 at 9:15 am Andreina Laera: Fate of trace elements during and after anaerobic digestion: a sequential extraction method and DGT technique to assess bio-accessible trace elements in digestate

Wed 22 May 2019 at 2:15 pm Ran Tao: Nutrient and organic matter removal from wastewaters with microalgae

Thu 23 May 2019 at 9:15 am Tejaswini Eregowda: Anaerobic treatment and resource recovery from methanol rich waste gases and wastewaters

Thu 23 May 2019 at 1:15 pm Suchanya Wongrod: Biochars from solid digestates as sorbing materials for metal(loid)s removal from water

All defence events will take place on the Hervanta campus of Tampere University, in room FA032 (Pieni sali 1) in the Festia building.

Watch the dissertations online

Text: Tiina Leivo
Photo:Jonne Renvall