Professional Experience

Assistant Professor for Fluid Mechanics

Wageningen University & Research


May 2021 - now

In the Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group at Wageningen University, I will continue to work on the transport of microplastics in the aquatic environment. This will involve physical model experiments in the Kraijenhoff van de Leur Laboratory for Water and Sediment Dynamics as well as environmental sampling and hydronumerical modelling. We still know far too little about the fundamental transport processes of microplastics, yet these are important basics to better understand the distribution and accumulation of microplastics in the environment and ultimately to take measures to reduce environmental pollution with plastics.

Research Associate

RWTH Aachen University

October 2017 - March 2021

During my PhD at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management at RWTH Aachen University, I compared the behaviour of microplastics in the fluvial environment with theoretical calculations from classical sediment transport using physical model experiments. The transport process was divided into resuspension, sedimentation and rising as well as infiltration into the river bed. Furthermore, a special attention was paid to the effects of microplastic particle properties such as density, diameter and shape on the transport mechanisms.

Education

October 2017 - December 2020

PhD

Microplastics are known to be ubiquitous contaminants and although our knowledge about them is constantly increasing, we know little about the basic transport processes of microplastics in the aquatic environment. Often, theoretical principles from natural sediment transport are used to describe microplastics transport, but do they provide sufficiently accurate results for this new "artificial sediment"?
During my PhD, I have compared the behaviour of microplastics with the theoretical calculations from classical sediment transport by using physical model experiments. The transport process was broken down into resuspension, sedimentation and rise as well as infiltration into the river bed. Furthermore, I have paid particular emphasis to the effects of microplastic particle properties such as density, diameter and shape on the transport mechanisms.

October 2014 - March 2017

Master of Science

At RWTH Aachen University, I studied civil engineering with a special focus on hydraulic engineering. My MSc thesis was entitled 'Investigation of an innovative approach for the removal of plastic particles from the pacific - Numerical simulation on the flow characteristics of plastic particles'.

October 2011 - October 2014

Bachelor of Science

At RWTH Aachen University, I studied civil engineering and my BSc thesis was entitled 'Evaluation of the adsorption capacities of a new and a loaded activated carbon using Rapid Small-Scale Column Tests'.

Scholarships & Awards

January 2018 - December 2020

PhD Scholarship of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)

Financial and mentoring support of my PhD project on the research topic 'Transport behaviour of microplastics in the aquatic environment'.

November 2019

Travel Scholarship of the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability

Travel grand for a one-month research stay in India to investigate the microplastic pollution of Indian rivers.

January 2018 - December 2020

PhD Scholarship of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)

Financial and mentoring support of my PhD project on the research topic 'Transport behaviour of microplastics in the aquatic environment'.

November 2019

Travel Scholarship of the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability

Travel grand for a one-month research stay in India to investigate the microplastic pollution of Indian rivers.

September 2021

Borchers Badge
from RWTH Aachen University

Awarded to doctoral students at RWTH Aachen University who have passed their doctoral examination "With Distinction". The Borchers Badge is awarded in the form of a badge of honour.

November 2021

Friedrich-Wilhelm-Award
from RWTH Aachen University

Awarded to young researchers at RWTH Aachen University who have been selected for their outstanding achievements in dissertations.