Hector Garcia Hernandez

Associate Professor of Wastewater


Hector Garcia is an Associate Professor of Sanitary Engineering in the Chair Group Sanitary Engineering of the Water Supply, Sanitation, and Environmental Engineering.  Hector has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Water Resources Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.  Hector's research interests include treatment technologies for the removal of conventional and emerging contaminants from water, wastewater, and sludge sources with an emphasis on both engineered biological treatment processes and membrane systems for water reuse and resource recovery; particularly, Hector's research aimed at serving the research and technical needs of the developing world in the water and wastewater sector.  Hector has supervised many MSc and PhD students in the field of Environmental and Sanitary Engineering.  He has the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) a Dutch Certification for lecturing in universities.

Research Summary

Hector's current research includes: (a) Membrane Bioreactor (MBR)s systems; (b) Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS); (c) Developing sanitation alternatives for the urban poor; (d) Oxygen transfer in wastewater treatment; (e) Modelling wastewater treatment plants; (f) Aerobic granular sludge; (g) Anaerobic membrane bioreactors; and (h) Emerging contaminants removal.

Research Projects currently under execution as follows:

  • Mobile microwave based reactor for on-site fecal sludge treatment for the humanitarian and development WASH sector (Amman, Jordan) - DUPC funded
  • Development of an efficient and sustainable methodology for emerging pollutants removal in wastewater treatment plants in Europe (Spain) - LIFE Programme 
  • Strengthening the Cuban food production and aquacultures sector through resources optimization and recovery (Cuba) - EuropeAid 


Selection of peer reviewed journal papers

Zakaria, F., Pean, Y., Hooijmans, C.M., Garcia, H.A., Spiegel, A., and Brdjanovic, D. (2017). User acceptance of the eSOS® Smart Toilet in a temporary settlement in the Phillippines. Water Practice and Technology. (12), 4. http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/wpt.2017.090

Mawioo, P.M., Garcia, H.A., Hooijmans, C.M.,  Velkushanova, K., Simonic, M., Mijatovic, I., and Brdjanovic, D. (2017). A pilot-scale microwave technology for sludge sanitization and drying. Science of the Total Environment. (601-602), 1437-1448. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.004

Toro-Velez, A.F., Madera-Parra, C.A., Pena-Varon, M.R., Garcia, H.A., Lee, W.Y., Walker, W.S., and Lens, P.N.L. (2017). Longitudinal removal of bisphenol-A and nonylphenols from pretreated domestic wastewater by tropical horizontal sub-surface constructed wetlands. Applied Sciences (Switzerland). (7), 8, 834. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/app7080834

Aron, F., Garcia, H.A., Hooijmans, C.M., Miguez, D., and Brdjanovic, D. (2016). Evaluation of a membrane bioreactor on dairy wastewater treatment and reuse in Uruguay. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibiod.2016.10.006

Mawioo, P.M., Hooijmans, C.M., Garcia, H.A., and Brdjanovic, D. (2016). Microwave Treatment of faecal sludge from intensively used toilets in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Environmental Management. (184), 575-584. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.10.019

Barreto, C.M., Garcia, H.A., Hooijmans, C.M., Herrera, A., and Brdjanovic, D. (2016). Assessing the performance of an MBR operated at high biomass concentrations. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibiod.2016.10.006

Zakaria, F., Harelimana, B., Curko, J., van de Vossenberg, J., Garcia, H.A., Hooijmans, C.M., and Brdjanovic, D. (2016). Effectiveness of UV-C light irradiation on disinfection of an eSOS smart toilet evaluated in a temporary settlement in the Philippines. International Journal of Environmental Health Research. (23), 5-6, 536-553. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09603123.2016.1217313

Mawioo, P.M., Rweyemamu, A., Garcia, H.A., Hooijmans, C.M., and Brdjanovic, D. (2016). Evaluation of a microwave based reactor for the treatment of blackwater sludge. Science of the Total Environment. (548-549), 72-81. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.013

Toro-Velez, A.F., Madera-Parra, C.A., Pena-Varon, M.R., Lee, W.Y., Bezares-Cruz, J.C., Walker, W.S., Cardenas-Henao, H., Quesada-Calderon, S., Garcia, H.A., and Lens, P.N.L. (2016). BPA and NP removal from municipal wastewater by tropical horizontal subsurface constructed wetlands. Science of the Total Environment. (542), 93-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.154

Borges, L.I., Lopez-Vazquez, C.M., Garcia, H.A., and van Lier, J.B. (2015). Nitrite reduction and methanogenesis in a single stage UASB reactor. Water Science & Technology. (72), 12, 2236-2242. http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/wst.2015.446

Zakaria, F., Garcia, H.A., Hooijmans C.M., and Brdjanovic, D. (2015). Decision support system for the provision of emergency sanitation. Science of the Total Environment. (512-513), 645-658. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.01.051

Brdjanovic, D., Zakaria, F., Mawioo, P.M., Garcia, H.A., Hooijmans, C.M., Curko, J., Thye J., and Setiadi, T. (2015). eSOS - emergency sanitation operation system. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. (5), 1, 158-164. http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/washdev.2014.098

Garcia, H.A., Hoffman, C.M., Kinney, K.A., and Lawler D.F. (2011). Laccase-catalyzed oxidation of oxybenzone in municipal wastewater primary effluent. Water Research. (45), 5, 1921-1932. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2010.12.027


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