The natural sciences, engineering and social sciences are all represented at Eawag. This combination enables comprehensive research into water and the water environment, from relatively pristine aquatic ecosystems to fully engineered water and wastewater management systems. The Institute’s three key areas of research are:
- Water for human welfare,
- Water for ecosystem functioning, and
- Strategies for making trade-offs and resolving competing demands.
Those working at Eawag encounter a truly unique research environment – one which allows researchers, experts and students to delve into questions that address the fundamental needs of society. In pursuing this work, Eawag devotes particular attention to innovative projects with transdisciplinary applications.
In order to ensure that new findings and concepts resulting from research can be translated as quickly as possible into real-world applications, Eawag cultivates active relations with experts from the industry, administrative bodies and associations. Eawag researchers also contribute their specialist knowledge in numerous national and international committees. In its series of practice-based ‘PEAK’ courses, the Institute regularly shares the latest research findings with specialist practitioners in the field.
Research and support departments working closely together
There are currently over 300 scientists working at Eawag, who are supported by technical and support staff. The support departments work closely with the researchers on a daily basis to assist them in their tasks. Efficient and streamlined processes within the Institute allow the researchers to concentrate on their scientific activities and to carry out their projects effectively and successfully.
Excellent facilities and infrastructure
Eawag has two locations – one in Dübendorf, near Zurich, and the other in Kastanienbaum, near Lucerne. The office, laboratory and testing facilities are housed in modern, state-of-the-art buildings. Specialized facilities such as pilot plants and aquaria as well as advanced analytical instrumentation are available on site.
To a large extent, the heating and electricity for the buildings come from renewable energy sources. The Forum Chriesbach, Eawag’s main administrative building, was built in 2007 and is considered to be one of the ‘greenest’ buildings in the world.