Peter van der Steen

Head of the WSSEE Department
Associate Professor of Environmental Technology


Dr. Peter van der Steen is Associate Professor of Environmental Technology. He holds a MSc degree from Wageningen University in the Netherlands (1994) and a PhD degree from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel (2001). He has specialised in the following areas:

Sustainable wastewater treatment and reuse

Integrated urban water management

  • Strategic planning
  • Indicator systems
  • Technology selection
  • Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment

Van der Steen is active as researcher and as educator. Educational activities include lecturing in the above mentioned topics, programme management activities in the Environmental Science programme at IHE Delft. He is also working with universities in Palestine (PADUCO) to improve MSC curricula and on research about treatment of Olive Mill Wastewater.



  1. Tahseen Sayara, Saed Khayat, Jebreel Saleh and Peter van der Steen (2021) Algal-bacterial symbiosis for nutrients removal from wastewater: the application of multivariate data analysis for process monitoring and control. Environmental Technology & Innovation. Environmental Technology and Innovation 23, article number 101548.
  2. Tahseen Sayara, Saed Khayat, Jebreel Saleh and Peter van der Steen (2021) Evaluation of the effect of reaction time on nutrients removal from secondary effluent of wastewater: field demonstrations using algal-bacterial photobioreactors. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 28, 1,  504-511.
  3. Mahmoud N., van der Steen, P and Piet Lens (2020) Septage composition and pollution fluxes from cesspits in Palestine. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 10, 4, 905–915.
  4. Angelica Rada, Dudy Fredy, Carlos Lopez Vazquez, Peter van der Steen and Piet Lens (2019) Ammonium removal mechanisms in a microalgal-bacterial sequencing-batch photobioreactor at different solids retention times. Algal Research 39, 101468.
  5. Raul Munoz  Hardy Temmink  Anthony M. Verschoor  Peter van der Steen (2018) Editorial: Algal technologies for wastewater treatment and resource recovery. Water Sci Technol 78, 1, 1-2.
  6. Brigitte Mukarunyana, Jack van de Vossenberg, Jules B. van Lier and Peter van der Steen (2018) Photo-oxygenation for nitritation and the effect of dissolved oxygen concentrations on anaerobic ammonium oxidation. Science of the Total Environment, 634, 868–874.
  7. A. Galvis, M.F. Jaramillo, P. van der Steen and H.J. Gijzen (2018) Financial aspects of reclaimed wastewater irrigation in three sugarcane production areas in the Upper Cauca river Basin, Colombia. Agricultural Water Management, 209, 102–110
  8. Meng Wang, Ryan Keeley, Nadezhda Zalivina, Trina Halfhide, Kathleen Scott, Qiong Zhang, Peter van der Steen and Sarina J. Ergas (2018) Advances in algal-prokaryotic wastewater treatment: a review of nitrogen transformations, reactor configurations and molecular tools. Journal of Environmental Management, 217, 845-857.
  1. Alberto Galvis, Peter Van der Steen and Hubert Gijzen (2018) Validation of the Three-Step Strategic Approach for Improving Urban Water Management and Water Resource Quality Improvement. Water 10, 188.
  2. Sarina J. Ergas, Maureen N. Kinyua, Peter van der Steen, Caitlyn S. Butler, Piet N.L. Lens, Kartik Chandran, James R. Mihelcic (2017) Innovative Global Solutions for Bioenergy Production. Environmental Engineering Science. Nov 2016, 33(11): 841-842.
  3. Rada-Ariza, Angelica Maria , Lopez-Vazquez C.M., van der Steen N.P. and Lens P.N.L. (2017) Nitrification by microalgal-bacterial consortia for ammonium removal in flat panel sequencing batch photo-bioreactors. Bioresource Technology 245, 81–89.
  4. Larissa T. Arashiro, Angelica M. Rada-Ariza, Meng Wang, Peter van der Steen and Sarina J. Ergas (2017) Modelling shortcut nitrogen removal from wastewater using an algal-bacterial consortium. Water Science and Technology, 75, 4, 782-792.
  5. Baino-Salingay, M.L., Pathirana, A., Rijke, J., van der Steen, P., Zevenbergen, C., Quan, N.H., Vinh, K.Q. (2017) Water quality assessment in selected surface waters in Can-Tho City, Vietnam. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences 12, 18, 4555-4561.
  6. Hong Quan Nguyen, Mohanasundar Radhakrishnan, Thi Thao Nguyen Huynh, Maria Luisa Baino-Salingay, Long Phi Ho, Peter van der Steen and Assela Pathirana (2017) Water Quality Dynamics of Urban Water Bodies during Flooding in Can Tho City, Vietnam. Water, 9, 260; doi:10.3390/w9040260.
  7. Wala’a Alshiekh Abdallah, Omar Zimmo,  Eldon R. Rene and Peter van der Steen (2017) Anaerobic biodegradation of olive mill wastewater: batch and UASB reactor performance. Int. J. Global Environmental Issues, 16, 1/2/3, 162-175.
  1. Nathan D. Manser, Meng Wang, Sarina J. Ergas, James R. Mihelcic, Arnold Mulder, Jack van de Vossenberg, Jules B. van Lier and Peter van der Steen (2016) Biological Nitrogen Removal in a Photo-Sequencing Batch Reactor with an Algal-Nitrifying Bacterial Consortium and Anammox Granules. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00034

  2. Nezar Al-Atawneh, Nidal Mahmoud , Peter van der Steen and Piet N.L. Lens (2016) House onsite sewage management in partially sealed cesspit. Accepted for publication in Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development

  3. Peter Emmanuel Cookey, Thammarat Koottatep, Peter van der Steen and Piet N. L. Lens (2016) Public health risk assessment tool: strategy to improve public policy framework for onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS). Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 6, 1, 74-88.

  • Meng Wang, Han Yang, Sarina J. Ergas and Peter van der Steen (2015) A novel shortcut nitrogen removal process using an algal-bacterial consortium in a photo-sequencing batch reactor (PSBR), Water Research 87, 38–48.
  • Lucy Tembo, Assela Pathirana, Peter van der Steen and Chris Zevenbergen (2015) Flexible Engineering Designs for Urban Water Management in Lusaka, Zambia. Accepted for publication Water Science and Technology. doi:10.2166/wst.2015.354
  • Peter van der Steen , Kuntarini Rahsilawati, Angelica Rada, Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez and Piet Lens (2015) A new photo-activated sludge system for nitrification by an algal-bacterial consortium in a photo-bioreactor with biomass recycle, Water Science and Technology, 72, 3, 443-50.
  • Galvis, A., Zambrano, D. A., van der Steen, N. P. and Gijzen, H. J. (2014) Evaluation of pollution prevention options in the municipal water cycle. Journal of Cleaner Production 66, 599-609.
  • Katukiza A., Ronteltap, M. van der Steen, P., Foppen, J.W. and Lens P. (2014) Quantification of microbial risks to human health caused by waterborne viruses and bacteria in an urban slum. Journal of Applied Microbiology 116, 2, 447–463.
  • Barbara Borst, Nidal Mahmoud,  Peter van der Steen and Piet Lens (2013)  Urban water balancing in a partly sewered city to study wastewater pollution loads and groundwater pollution - application to Nablus-East, Palestine. Urban Water Journal 10, 6, 434-446.
  • Trinh Thi Long, Duong Cong Chinh, Peter Van Der Steen and Piet Lens (2013) Exploring the potential for wastewater reuse in agriculture as a climate change adaptation measure for Can Tho City, Vietnam. Agricultural Water Management, 128, 43-54.
  • N.G.A.I. Karya, N.P. van der Steen  and P.N.L. Lens (2013) Photo-oxygenation to support nitrification in an algal–bacterial consortium treating artificial wastewater. Journal Bioresource Technology 134, 244–250.
  • Trinh Thi Long, Duong Cong Chinh, Peter Van Der Steen and Piet Lens (2013) Climate change adaptation indicators to assess wastewater management and reuse options in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Water Resources Management 27, 5, 1175-1191.
  • Ewinur Machdar, Peter van der Steen, Liqa Raschid–Sally and Piet Lens (2013) Application of QMRA to analyze the public health risk from drinking water supply in a low income area in Accra, Ghana. Science of the Total Environment 449, 134–142.
  • Tong Thi Hoang Duong, Avner Adin, David Jackman, Peter van der Steen and Kala Vairavamoorthy (2011) Urban water management strategies based on a total urban water cycle model and energy aspects - Case study for Tel Aviv. Urban Water Journal, 8(02), pp. 103 - 118.
  • Babu M.A., N.P. van der Steen, C.M. Hooijmans and H.J. Gijzen (2011) Nitrogen mass balances for pilot-scale biofilm stabilization ponds under tropical conditions. Bioresource Technology 102, 3754–3760.
  • Babu M.A., E.M.A. Hes, N.P. van der Steen, C.M. Hooijmans and H.J. Gijzen (2010) Nitrification Rates of Biofilms in Algae Wastewater Stabilization Ponds Under Light and Dark conditions. Ecol. Eng., 36, 1741–1746.
  • H. Labite, I. Lunani, N.P. van der Steen, K. Vairavamoorthy, P. Drechsel and P. Lens (2010) Quantitative Microbial Risk Analysis to evaluate health effects of interventions in the urban water system of Accra, Ghana. Journal of Water and Health 8 ,3, 417-430.
  • Mohamed E.M. Mahgoub, N. Peter van der Steen, Khaled Abu-Zeid and Kala Vairavamoorthy. (2010) Towards Sustainability in Urban Water: A Life Cycle Analysis of the Urban Water System of Alexandria City, Egypt. Journal of Cleaner Production 18, 1100–1106


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