• Blaise Devaud, winner of the 2016 BG “System and Sustainable Development” prize with Frank Doppenberg, Head of Fluids and Energy Unit at BG
    BG prize awarded to an EPFL student for a reed bed filter system

BG prize awarded to an EPFL student for a reed bed filter system

Published on 17.10.2016

The BG “System and Sustainable Development” prize, awarded each autumn to the author of a master's thesis at EPFL, this year rewards a study on a reed bed system to naturally treat combined urban wastewater. The winner received his award on October 1, 2016 at EPFL Graduation Day.

Blaise Devaud, winner of the 2016 BG “System and Sustainable Development” prize, studied the possibility of setting up a system to naturally treat urban stormwater runoff in the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds. The runoff currently flows into the Doubs River and negatively impacts water quality. The city is looking for effective solutions to eliminate these impacts, and Blaise Devaud studied the technical and financial feasibility of a natural reed bed system to treat stormwater runoff. This is an innovative system that is already used in other countries, but is still underdeveloped in Switzerland.

The project fulfils the BG prize criteria for a master's thesis that makes a significant contribution to the design of systems in the field of sustainable development. The 2016 jury praised Blaise Devaud's thesis as a fine example of a transdisciplinary engineering study that addresses both the technical aspects of the problem (urban hydrology, hydraulics, modelling, environmental biology and chemistry), and the financial issues (project costs, investments, operating costs).

Blaise Devaud worked under the supervision of Prof. Andrew Barry and Dr Luca Rossi (Ecological Engineering Laboratory – ECOL). The BG prize jury this year was composed of Pierre Kohler, BG CEO, Frank Doppenberg, Head of Fluids and Energy at BG, Claudia Binder of the EPFL HERUS Laboratory, and was chaired by Prof. Alexandre Buttler of the EPFL ECOS Laboratory. The award was presented to the winner on October 1, 2016 by Frank Doppenberg.

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