Department of Civil and Transport Engineering

Water and wastewater systems engineering

Photo. Water sprinkler. Text on picture with research group name "Water and wastewater Engineering

Key challenges addressed by the water and wastewater engineering group

Population growth, urbanization, climate changes and increasing demands to maintain environmental standards are major challenges for water and wastewater systems. The systems are often old and worn out, not only from a global perspective but also to a great extent in Norway. ( ref.“State for the Nation”, 2010, 2012, 2015).

The frequency of flooding in urban areas and disruption in water supply or drainage systems due to breakdowns or capacity shortfalls is increasing. Subsequently, significant investments in this infrastructure are to be expected in the coming decades, where leading economists predict that the global water and wastewater industry will experience a formidable economic growth in the 21st century.

Challenges and opportunities this represents will require a substantial effort and increase in research initiatives. Some examples include:

Topics of research

  • Safe drinking water by the removal of all kinds of contaminants, requiring new treatment technologies that are energy efficient and optimized.
  • Advanced treatment of wastewater, including recovery of resources from wastewater (nutrients, energy and water)
  • Storm water management strategies to meet climate change issues and urbanization, advanced models for urban runoff from rain and snow
  • Sustainable rehabilitation/renewal of current urban water systems, construction of new systems, including geographical information systems of the infrastructures
  • Water quality in aquaculture – advanced treatment recycling aquaculture systems and reducing discharge
  • Treatment of process water from oil and gas exploitation


Topics for teaching

  • Treatment of drinking water
  • wastewater treatment and recover
  • hydraulics of urban water systems
  • urban hydrology and storm water management
  • technology for water transportation systems
  • upgrading of water and wastewater networks (asset management)


Resources and collaboration partners

IBM facilities include a dedicated water analysis laboratory, research halls for drinking water and wastewater studies, and an advanced urban runoff field station at Risvollan.

There is a well-established collaboration with research groups at SINTEF and other departments at NTNU, e.g. chemistry, chemical engineering, biotechnology, risk analysis and industrial ecology. 

Recent PhD dissertations

Marius Møller Rokstad 2016:262 Evaluating and enhancing information quality for IAM decisions in urban water systems. Supervisors Rita Ugarelli and Sveinung Sægrov Hanne M L Kvitsand 2016:62: Drinking Water Supply from Unconsolidated Aquifers in Cold Climates. Supervisors Stein W Østerhus and Bjørge Battli (Geology) Kim Aleksander Paus 2016:2: Toxic Metal Removal and Hydraulic Capacity in bioretention cells in Cold Climate Regions. Supervisors Tor-Ove Leiknes and Sveinn T Thorolfsson


SFI Klima 2050  - Risk reduction through climate adaptation of buildings and infrastructure

RECOVER - Resource recovery from wastewater

BINGO - Bringing INnovation to onGOing water management (EU)

JPI Water – INXCES - INnovations for eXtreme Climatic eventS (EU)

Visit the department research projects overwiew site here

Elena Scibilia 


Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)