Wageningen University celebrated the award of its 6,000th PhD. The honour went to Dr Aleksandra Knezev from Serbia. Her supervisor was Professor of Microbiology Hauke Smidt. In recent years, more and more PhDs have been awarded at the university. The 5,000th PhD defence at Wageningen University took place in 2011, and the 4,000th in 2006.
The first PhD in Wageningen, at the former Agricultural College, was awarded in 1920. It took more than 60 years, until in 1984, before 1000 Wageningen PhDs had been awarded. During the 1980s and 90s, the number of PhD defences ranged between 50 and 70 per year; nowadays more than 200 PhD students per year are awarded the coveted diploma. About 60 percent of these students are from abroad.
Aleksandra Knezev (Novi Sad, 1967) defended her thesis Microbial Activity in Granular Activated Carbon Filters in Drinking Water Treatment. She works at The Water Laboratory in Haarlem, the Netherlands, where she is a consultant in microbiological methods for water treatment.