IHE Delft's staff members are committed to bring water education, research and capacity development to a higher level. Together with its motivated PhD fellows, Alumni, Students and Partners, IHE Delft forms a strong knowledge network of water sector experts.

Staff in focus

Claudia Schutter-Brakel

Fellowship and Admission Officer

In 2000, Claudia started as planning officer at IHE Delft. ‘’The moment I walked into the building and heard so many different languages and saw enthusiastic people who were very eager to study, despite the fact that they were away from their loved ones, I was ‘sold’. Claudia worked at the planning department for a year, but she missed the interaction with participants so she applied for fellowship and admission officer. ‘’My responsibility is the intake of short course participants, from their first admission to all the logistics which are needed to attend a short course. The number of short courses has grown to 76 with 300-400 participants each year. I am grateful to meet so many people from all over the world. My colleagues feel like an extended family and I enjoy every day. On 15 January 2021 Claudia will celebrate her 20th anniversary at IHE Delft.

Claudia Schutter - Brakel

Nemanja Trifunovic

Associate Professor of Water Supply Engineering

Nemanja joined IHE Delft in 1990, arriving from the R&D section of Belgrade Waterworks and Sewerage, in Serbia. His passion switched to education and capacity development in water supply. His biggest satisfaction has been to support numerous bright brains excelling in their careers, by taking part in his classes and capacity development projects. Some of those are nowadays acting as vice-chancellors and directors of national universities, institutes and water utilities. His biggest pleasure has been to guide the courses with students from a few dozen different countries sitting in the same classroom and having fun. This is the dimension that cannot be truly conveyed in any marketing material and is the key element of IHE Delft’s uniqueness, in his view: the sole reason for spending almost your entire professional career in one place. IHE in five years? Leading a family of reputable institutions in the Global South, jointly engaged in the concept of life-long learning by applying modern didactical tools.

Nemanja Trifunovic


PhD Fellows in focus

Irene Leonardelli

PhD fellow

Irene’s PhD research focused on processes of agrarian transformation and water re-allocation in Maharashtra (India), from a critical feminist perspective. ‘’IHE Delft is a very dynamic and diverse space, like a big international and interdisciplinary family’’, says Irene. Being one of the few feminist anthropologists among many people with a technical background is an interesting and exciting challenge. Her PhD research path is still long and future plans uncertain –also in light of COVID19, but she will continue engaging with research and activism in the attempt of contributing to a more sustainable and equitable socionatural future.

Irene Leonardelli

Mauricio Barreto Carvajal

PhD fellow

Mauricio Barreto is an Environmental and Sanitary Engineer from Colombia. He gained an MSc degree in Sanitary Engineering from IHE Delft in 2015 and continued doing research as a PhD fellow. His research is focused on developing portable sanitation alternatives for sub-standard settlements such as refugee and emergency camps. The technology takes membrane bioreactors (MBR) to the limit in order to minimize footprint and increase the treatment capacity. He also supports a water treatment company he co-founded in Colombia ( and looks forward to developing biotechnology-based solutions for food security applications in developing countries. ‘’At IHE Delft you get to see other people's perspectives on many other topics outside academia, it is a deeply enriching experience.’’

Mauricio Barreto Carvajal

PHD Fellows


IHE Delft has provided post-graduate education to more than 23,000 water professionals from over 190 countries. They form the Institute’s alumni community, the largest global network of water professionals in the world. They are acquiring key positions, supporting the implementation of the global water agenda and improving the quality of life of their communities every day.

Read more about alumni


Our students do not only study and share water-related knowledge, but also get to broaden their perspective on the wonders of each others' cultures, religions and beliefs.

Read more about students


Connect with us

Never miss a thing!