Prof. dr. ir. Diederik Rousseau

Contact Details

Telephone Number: 
+32 (0)56 24 12 54
Fax Number: 
+32 (0)56 24 12 24
Research Unit: 
Laboratory of Industrial Water- and Ecotechnology
Diederik Rousseau's picture



Prof. dr. ir. Diederik Rousseau holds an MSc degree in bio-engineering - option environmental technology (1999) and a PhD degree in Applied Biological Sciences (2005), both from Ghent University. After a career as teaching assistant at Ghent University (2000-2005) and (Senior) Lecturer at UNESCO-IHE in Delft, The Netherlands (2005-2011), he is now the Programme Coordinator of the BSc and MSc in Environmental Engineering Technology at Ghent University campus Kortrijk.

RESEARCH: Prof. dr. ir. Rousseau's main expertise is ecological engineering, in particular construmacrophyte-based and algae-based solutions for cleaning up environmental pollution such as cosntructed treatment wetlands and waste stabilization ponds. He has a strong focus on the optimization and sustainability of ecotechnologies’ performance by means of experimental and pilot-scale set-ups as well as model-based design. His own research as well as the results by numerous MSc and PhD fellows under his supervision has resulted in a large number of publications, among others 48 peer-reviewed SCI-noted papers, 9 book chapters and 42 papers in proceedings of international conferences. He is a regular reviewer for various journals, founding organizer of the WETPOL conference series and has been a member of several conference Scientific Committees.

EDUCATION: Prof. dr. ir. Rousseau has more than 16 years of educational experience, not only with traditional forms such as classroom teaching and laboratory sessions, but also with online courses and problem-based learning. He has also been teaching on numerous occasions in short courses abroad on the topics of water quality and wastewater management, among others in Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Indonesia, Ghana, Egypt, Comoros and Rwanda. In addition to that he also has ample experience with programme management, having been Deputy Course Coordinator and MSc coordinator of the MSc programme in Environmental Science at UNESCO-IHE, and currently as Programme Coordinator of the Master in Environmental Engineering Technology of Ghent University.

Educational coordinator
Scientific staff
Teaching staff

Natural treatment systems such as constructed wetlands (CWs) and waste stabilization ponds (WSPs) are man-made aquatic ecosystems where the interaction of bacteria with plants and/or algae ensures wastewater purification. These technologies are relatively cheap to construct and maintain yet have a robust performance and yield in many cases an effluent that can be used for certain reuse purposes (irrigation, toilet flushing, ...). Because of these properties, CWs and WPSs are a popular alternative for decentralised treatment in the rural areas of developed countries as well as in developing countries. They can be used as only unit or in combination with other treatment technologies to purify most kinds of wastewater (domestic, industrial and agricultural).

Recently our research group also developed and tested a bioflocculation approach, where algae and bacteria grow together in so-called Microalgae-Bacteria flocs. Since these flocs are large and relatively dense, a simple sedimentation step allows to separate them from the water phase.

Below you can find some pictures of CW and WSP and our pilot-scale MaB floc reactor.

WSP in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

WSP system in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (picture courtesy of BTC)


CW GeWoonBoot

Floating CW treating wastewater of a houseboat in The Netherlands

CW Planckendael Belgium

CW in the Zoo of Planckendael, Belgium

MaB floc pilot-scale reactor, treating aquaculture wastewater (EnAlgae project)