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Organic micropollutants in the aquatic environment - interdisciplinary concepts for assessment and removal


The research training project intends to focus the concerted effort of a multinational group of students with multidisciplinary backgrounds upon a topic growing concern, the presence of so called micro-pollutants in our aqueous environment. This topic is of global relevance, what makes it particularly suitable for an international scope. Quantifying the occurrence, analysing the distribution pathways, evaluating the various effects of micro-pollutants, and studying methods to prevent them from passing through wastewater collection and treatment systems into rivers, lakes and ground water bodies will represent a truly interdisciplinary task that requires the long term development and application of a complex set of tools and resources. The programme's focus will be on endocrine disrupters, but also broader a group of micro-pollutants, including antibiotics, other pharmaceuticals and residues of personal care products will be considered. The goal is a better understanding of the fate of civilisation-related chemicals in an aqueous environment and of ways to control it. The research training will be based on an interdisciplinary collaboration of several Departments at the RWTH Apache University from Science and Engineering Faculties. Young researchers in the proposed scheme will be able to benefit from the coherent structure established, where complementary research topics and methods are the core of the programme. Besides the mainly experimental work in the participating laboratories the full range of training activities will be provided to achieve a maximum effectiveness of the individual training periods. The programme will include internal and open workshops on current scientific issues, tailor made course work to back up both fundamental knowledge and stress particular aspects of the integrated scientific fields.

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