Benjamin Buysschaert receives Ernest du Bois prize

(30-01-2017) Benjamin Buysschaert of the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering) received the 2016 Ernest du Bois prize for his research on flow cytometry.

This prestigious prize is annually awarded by the King Baudouin Foundation to young engineers who write a doctoral thesis on the theme of water and its availability on a global level. He received  a grant of 20.000 euros for his project: “Microorganisms as canary in the coal mine: fast water quality monitoring by optical fingerprinting of the microbial communities”.

Flow cytometric fingerprinting is a recently developed technology that enables water quality monitoring by advanced community analysis. In combination with the on-line module it is possible to assess the water quality in situ and at low cost. After an optimization step and the characterization of the fingerprint of a water stream, this pragmatic method helps the fast identification of multiple water distribution and production problems, very interesting for the drinking water and process water world.

Benjamin Buysschaert started his fourth and last year of doctoral research at CMET (Promotors: Prof. dr. ir. Nico Boon and Prof. dr. ir. Bart De Gusseme). He is currently developing on-line flow cytometric fingerprinting for industrial process water monitoring (Interreg-project IMPROVED) and is preparing for an internship to implement flow cytometric monitoring at the US drinking water industry (DC Water).