ETE Alumni Day: 1 May 2015

On the first of May, alumni reunion was held in the sub-department of Environmental Technology (ETE) for its 50 years anniversary. More than 150 alumni went back to their homeland to share this joyful moment. Meeting former study mates and a cup of hot coffee got the old buddies warm again.


Huub Rijnaarts opened the official program by welcoming all the returned “family members” . Rector Magnificus Martin Kropff introduced the developments of Wageningen University and showed us how the important the role of ETE has been over the years.

ETE at 2015

Cees Buisman and Huub Rijnaarts introduced the development of ETE during the past years and gave an outline of the scope of current research at ETE on biorecovery, reusable water, and urban system engineering. They emphasized that ETE not aims at exploring innovative techniques only, but also on implementing those techniques in our real life.

Future of Environmental Technology: An interactive debate

Interactive debates between former, Wim Rulkens and Gatze Lettinga, and present chair group professors, Cees Buisman and Huub Rijnaarts, were followed. Main debate topics were: the future research direction considering sustainability issues, physical and chemical treatment versus biological treatment, smart country versus smart countryside, contribution of scientists versus policy makers, and how to cooperate or help with developing countries with their environmental issues.

Lunch and posters

During lunch, besides the superb food, the exhibited PhD posters and model setup demonstrations provided more spicy.

Alumni presentations

Thereafter, three alumni of different generations gave presentations by telling their own stories related with environmental technology. Maarten Gast’s took everyone on a journey through his (scientific) career, starting at the yearly years of the department. Pieter Hack shared his career experiences from Biotechnology in Paques to Electrochemical in MAGNETO. Motivated by curiosity Paula González demonstrated the pathway to go from little girl, to researcher, to technologist at Paques.

Campus and Lab tour

Campus and Lab tours were given by voluntary students, PhD’s and staff. Highlights of the new campus were shown and the current ETE facilities were proudly presented.

"Petje-op petje-af" quiz

Last item of the official program was the ‘Petje-op petje-af’ (caps on/off) quiz hosted by Wim Wiegant, leading to deep thoughts, laughter and lots of fun. After many brainteasers Bert Hamelers turned out to be the most outstanding ETE alumni, knowing most of the past 50 years of ETE. For this achievement Bert was rewarded the special brewed “Blonde Environmentalist”, a special beer containing 50 years of knowledge in one bottle.

The reunion ended up with an outdoor barbecue full of chatting and laughing. It was getting dark and people hanged around the light. Looking at the happy faces through the light, time seemed to go back to the past. “Dear friends, see you again in the next anniversary, I promise.”