Faculty

Faculty

Jorge Rodriguez

Jorge Rodriguez

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Contact Number (office): +971 (0) 2 810 9173

Dr Jorge Rodriguez holds a PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering as well as MSc in Chemical Engineering and BEng Industrial Chemistry by the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) in Spain. He is a Fellow of UK's Higher Education Academy holding a PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching (HE) by the University of Glamorgan (UK). He has worked in prestigious universities including the Delft University of Technology (NL), the University of Queensland (AU) and in the University of Glamorgan (UK) as researcher and/or faculty.

Dr Rodríguez’s is co-author of numerous peer reviewed journal articles (see metrics here), book chapters and in excess of fifty conference papers, including several invited talks, in areas related to modelling and control of energy and environmental biocatalytic processes, including anaerobic digestion, biological wastewater treatment and biofuels. He leads the Environmental Bioprocess Modelling (EnvBioProM) Laboratory including a team of half a dozen researchers and students. 

EnvBioProM Lab Research Team

Dr Rodríguez is also an Editor of the journal Water Science and Technology and Newsletter Editor for the IWA anaerobic digestion specialist group. He regularly conducts manuscript reviews for scientific journals and conference scientific committees. Dr Rodríguez has also been evaluator for research grants for the UK BBSRC and ESRC as well as for the Spanish ANEP. He has recently co-chaired the scientific committee of the 13th IWA World Conference on Anaerobic Digestion.

OPEN RESEARCH TOPICS OFFERED FOR NEW MSc AND PhD STUDENTS (2013)

The below is a non comprehensive list of research topics offered for MSc and PhD students. In addition candidate students are welcome to propose their own topics and discuss:

- Optimisation of anaerobic codigestion of multiple biowastes.

- Modelling micropollutants transformation in wastewater treatment systems in Abu Dhabi.

- Constructed wetlands performance modelling and optimisation for the UAE.

- Modelling microbial activity and chemistry in natural environmental water systems.

- Nitrogen and phophoprous removal processes in Abu Dhabi wastewater treatment plants.

- Biological removal of hydrogen sulfide in wastewater treatment plants for smell reduction.

- Microbial ecology in bioprocesses models.

- Reuse of biosolids from anaerobic digestion for fertiliser applications.

- Mathematical modelling of microalgae growth bioreactors.

- Modelling and optimisation of bioelectrochemical systems (microbial fuel and electrolysis cells)

COURSES TEACHING (academic year 2013-14)

WEN506 - Wastewater Treatment Engineering - Fall 2013 (get tentative syllabus HERE)

CHE609 - Bioprocess Modelling and Engineering for Waste(water) Treatment and Energy Production - Offered in Spring 2014 (syllabus under preparation - see Spr 2012 syllabus HERE)

CHE505 - Systems Engineering (Optimisation and Control topics) - Spring 2014

COURSES PREVIOUSLY TAUGHT

WEN506 - Wastewater Treatment Engineering - Fall 2012 (get syllabus HERE)

CHE509 - Bioprocess Engineering for Waste(water) Treatment and Energy Production - Spring 2012

FDN471 - Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering - Heat and Mass Transfer (30% of teaching)

CURRENT STUDENT PROJECTS ADVISED

Tolutola Oyetunde (Nigeria) - Modelling bioelectrochemical systems for wastewater treatment and resource recovery. (co-advisor is Dr F. Ahmad)

CURRENT STUDENT PROJECTS CO-ADVISED

Alya Altunaiji (UAE) - Biogas production from lignocellulosic biomass using camel rumen microorganisms. (main advisor is Dr H. Hernández)

Talal Al Hajri (UAE) - Biotreatment of ballast waters. (main advisor is Dr Héctor Hernández)

GRADUATED MASDAR STUDENTS

Rashed M.J. Algaoud (UAE) - Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment in the UAE: Performance evaluation and microbiology study. MI's Best Thesis Award 2013

Joao M. Uratani (Brazil) - Anaerobic digestion of halophytic plant residues for biogas production and nutrient recovery.

Ahmed Al Harethi (UAE) - Engineering native microalgae strains to address renewable energy needs of the UAE. (main advisor was Dr Héctor Hernández)

Amaka Nwobi (Nigeria) - Techno-economic analysis of biofuel production from organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) generated in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (main advisor  was Dr Mette Thomsen)

SEE CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS IN PROJECTS TAB ABOVE....

My lab research interests focus on the mathematical modelling and control of bioprocesses for wastewater treatment and energy recovery, in particular anaerobic (co)digestion (biogas) and bioelectrochemical systems (microbial fuel cells). 

I have also much interest in fundamental research to unveil the potentials of natural and engineered microbial ecosystems as catalysts to couple the treatment of organic waste(water) with the recovery of energy and/or chemicals.

CURRENT FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS AT MI

REED-BED SYSTEMS, A SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE FOR SEWAGE TREATMENT AND WATER RECOVERY IN ABU DHABI

 

  

  MI Investigators: Jorge Rodríguez (PI), Farrukh Ahmad, Lina Yousef.

  PartnerTDIC Desert Islands

  Funding (Direct): US$100k by MIRSG 2011 // Duration: 1 year // Ends: Dec 2012

ENGINEERING OPEN ANAEROBIC MICROBIAL FERMENTATIONS FOR CONVERSION OF ORGANIC WASTE INTO BIOFUEL

  Investigators: Jorge Rodríguez (MI), Eric Alm (MIT) and Greg Stephanopoulos (MIT)

  PartnerMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  Funding (Direct): US$300k by MI-MIT Program // Duration: 2 years // Ends: Jul 2014

ANAEROBIC DIGESTION AS KEY TECHNOLOGY FOR ENERGY AND NUTRIENT RECOVERY IN  INTEGRATED SEAWATER AGRICULTURE SYSTEMS

  Investigators: Jorge Rodríguez (PI), Héctor Hernández and  Farrukh Ahmad

  Funding (Direct): US$345k by SBRC Consortium // Duration: 2 years // Ends: Mar 2014

 

OTHER RESEARCH PROJECTS AT MI

MATHEMATICAL MODELLING OF BIOELECTROCHEMICAL SYSTEMS (MICROBIAL FUEL/ELECTROLYSIS CELLS)

  In partnership with Dr Farrukh Ahmad's  BEEL Lab

MICROALGAE BIOPROCESS CHARACTERISATION, MODELLING AND OPTIMISATION

  In partnership with Dr Héctor Hernández's  MECEL Lab

OPEN RESEARCH TOPICS OFFERED FOR NEW MSc AND PhD STUDENTS (2013)

The below is a non comprehensive list of research topics offered for MSc and PhD students. In addition candidate students are welcome to propose their own topics and discuss:

- Optimisation of anaerobic codigestion of multiple biowastes.

- Modelling micropollutants transformation in wastewater treatment systems in Abu Dhabi.

- Constructed wetlands performance modelling and optimisation for the UAE.

- Modelling microbial activity and chemistry in natural environmental water systems.

- Nitrogen and phophoprous removal processes in Abu Dhabi wastewater treatment plants.

- Biological removal of hydrogen sulfide in wastewater treatment plants for smell reduction.

- Microbial ecology in bioprocesses models.

- Reuse of biosolids from anaerobic digestion for fertiliser applications.

- Mathematical modelling of microalgae growth bioreactors.

- Modelling and optimisation of bioelectrochemical systems (microbial fuel and electrolysis cells)

 SEE MAIN PUBLICATIONS IN PUBLICATIONS TAB ABOVE....

JOURNAL ARTICLES (Peer reviewed)

(see publication metrics HERE)

García-Gen S., Lema J.M. and Rodríguez J. (2013) Generalised modelling approach for anaerobic co-digestion of fermentable substrates. Bioresource Technology  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2013.08.063

Premier GC, Kim JR., Massanet-Nicolau J, Kyazze G, Esteves S, Penumathsa BKV, Rodríguez J, Maddy J, Dinsdale RM, Guwy AJ (2012) Integration of biohydrogen, biomethane and bioelectrochemical systemsRenewable Energy doi:10.1016/j.renene.2012.01.035

Donoso-Bravo A., Mailier J., Martin C., Rodríguez J., Aceves-Lara C., Vande Wouwer A. (2011) Model selection, identification and validation in anaerobic digestion: A reviewWater Research 45(17), pp.5347-5364.

Kim J.R., Rodríguez J., Hawkes F.R., Dinsdale R.M., Guwy A.J., Premier G.C. (2011) Increasing power recovery and organic removal efficiency using extended longitudinal tubular microbial fuel cell (MFC) reactors. Energy & Environmental Science 4, pp. 459–465.

Cubillos G., Arrué R., Jeison D., Chamy R., Tapia E., Rodríguez J. and Ruiz G. (2010) Simultaneous effects of pH and substrate concentration on hydrogen production by acidogenic fermentation. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology 13(1)

Kim J.R., Premier G.C., Hawkes FR.,  Rodríguez J., Dinsdale R. and Guwy A.J. (2010) Modular tubular microbial fuel cells for treatment and energy recovery at low organic loading. Bioresource Technology 101(4), pp.1190-1198.

Rodríguez J., Premier G.C., Guwy A.J., Dinsdale R. and Kleerebezem R. (2009). Metabolic models to investigate energy limited anaerobic ecosystems. Water Science & Technology 60(7) pp.1669–1675.

Rodríguez J., Premier G.C., Dinsdale R. and Guwy A.J. (2009). An implementation framework for wastewater treatment models requiring a minimum programming expertise. Water Science & Technology 59(2), pp 367-380.

Penumathsa B.V.K., Premier G.C., Kyazze G., Dinsdale R., Guwy A.J., Esteves S. and Rodríguez J. (2008). ADM1 can be applied to continuous bio-hydrogen production using a variable stoichiometry approach. Water Research 42(16), pp. 4379-4385.

Rodríguez J., Roca E., Lema J.M. and Bernard O. (2008). Determination of the adequate minimum model complexity required in anaerobic bioprocesses using experimental data. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology  83(120), pp. 1694-1702.

Rodríguez J., Lema J.M. and Kleerebezem R. (2008). Energy based models for environmental biotechnology. Trends in Biotechnology 26(7), pp. 366-374.

Kleerebezem R., Rodríguez J., Temudo M.F. and van Loosdrecht M.C.M. (2008). Modeling Mixed Culture Fermentations;  the role of different electron carriers. Water Science & Technology 57(4), pp.493-497.

Rabaey K., Rodríguez J., Blackall L., Keller J., Batstone D., Verstraete W. and Nealson K.H. (2007). Microbial ecology meets electrochemistry: Electricity driven and driving communities. The ISME Journal 1, pp.9-18.

Rodríguez J., Lema J.M., van Loosdrecht M.C.M. and Kleerebezem R. (2006). Variable stoichiometry with thermodynamic control in ADM1. Water Science & Technology 54(4) , pp. 101-110.

Rodríguez J., Kleerebezem R., Lema J.M., van Loosdrecht M.C.M. (2006) Modelling product formation in mixed culture fermentations. Biotechnology & Bioengineering  93(3), pp.592-606.

Rodríguez J., Ruiz G., Molina F., Roca E. and Lema J.M. (2005). A hydrogen-based variable-gain controller for anaerobic digestion processes. Water Science & Technology 54(2), pp. 57-62.

Bernard O., Chachuat B., Hélias A. and Rodríguez J. (2005). Can we assess the model complexity for a bioprocess? Water Science & Technology 53(1), pp-85-92.

Bernard O., ..., Rodríguez J., et al. (2005). An integrated system to remote monitor and control anaerobic wastewater treatment plants through the internet. Water Science & Technology 52(1-2), pp.457-464.

Carrasco E. F., Rodríguez J., Puñal A., Roca E., Lema J. M. (2004).  Diagnosis of acidiļ¬cation states in an anaerobic wastewater treatment plant using a fuzzy-based expert system. Control Engineering Practice, 12, pp. 59-64.

Carrasco E. F., Rodríguez J., Puñal A., Roca E., Lema J.M. (2002). Rule-based diagnosis and supervision of a pilot-scale wastewater plant using fuzzy logic techniques. Expert Systems with Applications 22(1), pp.11-20.

Puñal A., Rodríguez J., Carrasco E.F., Roca E., Lema J.M. (2002). Expert system for the on-line diagnosis of anaerobic wastewater treatment plants. Water Science & Technology 45(10), pp.195-200.

Rodríguez J., Carrasco E. F. (2002). Optimization of chemical processes by means of direct search methods. Afinidad  LIX, 499, pp.191-198. (In Spanish).

Puñal A., Rodríguez J., Franco A., Carrasco E.F., Roca E., Lema J.M. (2001). Advanced monitoring and control of anaerobic wastewater treatment plants: diagnosis and supervision by a fuzzy-based expert system.Water Science & Technology 43(7), pp.191-198.

 

BOOK CHAPTERS (Peer reviewed)

Rodríguez J. and Premier G.C. (2009) Towards a mathematical description of bioelectrochemical systems. In: Rabaey K., Keller J., Angenent L., Lens P. and Schröder U. (eds.) “Bio-electrochemical systems. From extracellular electron transfer to biotechnological application”. IWA Publishing, London. ISBN 978-1843392330

Zaher U., Rodríguez, J., Franco, A., Vanrolleghem, P.A. (2004) Conceptual approach for ADM1 application. In: Ujang Z. and Henze M. (ed.) "Environmental Biotechnology: Advancement in Water and Wastewater Applications in the Tropics". IWA Publishing. London. ISBN: 978-1843395034

Rodríguez J., Perner I., Schmidt K., Posten C. (2005) Simple metabolic model for Saccharomyces cerevisiae in fed-batch culture to study the cellular nitrogen uptake. In: Pons M-N. and van Impe J. (ed.) "Computer Applications in Biotechnology 2004". Elsevier Science. ISBN: 978-0080442518.

 

DISSERTATIONS

Rodríguez J. (2006) Modelling anaerobic Mixed Culture Fermentations. PhD Thesis. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Rodríguez J. (2001) Mathematical modelling of a fed-batch process of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. MSc Thesis. Universität Karksruhe (TH), Germany

Rodríguez J. (1999) Control óptimo de procesos químicos y biotecnológicos mediante algoritmos estocásticos. BEng Project. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

 

ESSAYS ON HIGHER EDUCATION LEARNING AND TEACHING

Rodríguez J. (2009) Students’ motivation for learning in HE (I): Engaging students in teaching sessions. PGCLT Essay.

Rodríguez J. (2009) Students’ motivation for learning in HE (II): Assessment and inclusivity aspects. PGCLT Essay.

 

CONFERENCE CONTRIBUTIONS - Over 30 peer reviewed , please contact for details.