Anaerobic Treatment Short Course

ONLINE: Anaerobic Treatment of High-Strength Industrial and Agricultural Wastes 

Three Consecutive Thursday Mornings, Sept. 10th, 17th and 24th  
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM via Microsoft Teams


About the Course

New for 2020 – the course will be offered online via Microsoft Teams!

If you deal with high-strength industrial wastes or are involved in operation and design of anaerobic treatment processes, this course is intended for you.

This short course has been designed to walk you through the processes of anaerobic treatment, from fundamental principles to case histories. The case history presentations will demonstrate anaerobic technologies in industrial settings and allow for questions regarding specific problems encountered and solutions developed.

Course size is limited to 250 attendees.


Those attending will learn 

  • Anaerobic treatment fundamentals
  • Anaerobic microbiology fundamentals
  • When and how to use biogas
  • System configuration and technology selection
  • Design, construction and start-up guidelines
  • Options available for operating, monitoring and troubleshooting

Who should attend 

  • Plant managers and plant engineers
  • Environmental staff of companies that generate wastewater
  • Engineers involved with pretreatment of wastewater
  • Planners and designers of anaerobic processes
  • Engineers and plant operations personnel for municipalities
  • Graduate students in environmental science and engineering


Continuing education credits

Course attendees earn approximately 1.0 continuing education unit or 10 PDHs for professional engineering continuing education requirements.



"A good mix of textbook, research and practical presentations. I also enjoyed the networking and exchange of ideas." - Robert Rosdil SS, Waste Treatment Specialist, Bush Brothers & CO., Dandridge, Tenn.

“This course is an excellent way to jump-start your knowledge.  My team already applied knowledge from the class to our recent wastewater plant startup.  Along with the technical knowledge, we also built valuable networking contacts from other industries.”  - Tom Murphy, Effluent Treatment Plant Manager, Liberty Paper, Becker, MN



Course Speakers

Dr. Willy Verstraete

Dr. Willy Verstraete is emeritus professor and previous head of the Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology (LabMET - Faculty of Bioscience Engineering) at Ghent University (Belgium). He is an internationally recognized leader in anaerobic biotechnology and R&D related to design, operation and control of processes mediated by mixed microbial cultures. Dr. Verstraete ranks in the list of Highly Cited Researchers and several of his works belong to the top 1% of most cited papers in his field. He has expertise in anaerobic biotechnology as well as drinking water production and aerobic wastewater treatment (in particular with respect to nitrification-denitrification). He has won numerous international awards, including the 2005 Excellence in Science Prize from the Belgian National Science Foundation and the Imhoff Award from the International Water Association (IWA) for his contributions to water biotreatment. In 2014, he became chairman of the Cluster on Resource Recovery of IWA, and in 2015 he was nominated as an advisor to the Dutch Water Institute KWR to deal with aspects of water and resource recovery. He graduated in 1968 from Gent University as a bio-engineer and earned his Ph.D. degree in microbiology at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (USA)


Dennis E. Totzke, P.E. 

Private consultant in Delefield, Wis., Totzke received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in civil engineering from Marquette. He specializes in the evaluation and design of industrial processes and environmental management systems with nearly 30 years of experience with firms like Stroh Brewing, Oscar Mayer, Nestle, Borden's and Aldrich Chemical. Prior to becoming a private consultant, Totzke worked for CH2M Hill, CRSS and other firms in various technical and management consultant roles.


Dr. Daniel H. Zitomer, P.E.

Dr. Dan ZitomerProfessor and chair of civil, construction and environmental engineering and director of the Water Quality Center at Marquette University, Zitomer specializes in wastewater treatment and anaerobic biotechnology. He has more than 30 years of experience consulting with entities such as Jacobs, United Water Services, Liberty Paper and others. Zitomer has authored more than 100 journal articles, proceedings papers and technical reports. He received the 2008 Gordon Maskew Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Medal from and is a Fellow of the Water Environment Federation for outstanding service in engineering education. He is Chair of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at Marquette University and presently teaches graduate classes on anaerobic biotechnology and biological wastewater treatment. He has performed research for the National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, State of Wisconsin and others. 




Thursday, September 10, 2020

8:30 – 8:45     
Introduction and Welcome
Daniel Zitomer, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering
Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI


8:45– 9:45      
Keynote: Anaerobic Digestion: Beyond the Paris Agreements
Dr. Willy Verstrate
Gent, Belgium


Anaerobic Microbiology and Reactor Function
Daniel H. Zitomer, Ph.D., P.E.
Marquette University


10:45 – 11:00 


11:00 – 11:45 
Fundamentals of Anaerobic Treatment
Patrick McNamara, Ph.D.
Marquette University


Laboratory Testing to Monitor Your Digester
Daniel Zitomer, Ph.D., P.E.
Marquette University


Networking Assignment #1 Description

Daniel Zitomer, Ph.D., P.E.



Thursday, September 17, 2020           

8:30 – 8:40     
Daniel Zitomer, Ph.D., P.E.
Marquette University


8:40- 9:30      
Industrial Waste Treatment Technologies
Martin Tielbaard
Wilmington, DE


9:30 – 10:15   
Industrial Waste Treatment Design
Dennis Totzke, P.E.
Delafield, WI


10:15 – 10:30 


10:30- 11:00  
Process Start-Up, Monitoring and Control
Jeffrey Mummert
M12 Operating Systems, LLC
O’Fallon, MO


11:00 – 11:30 
Toxicity in Anaerobic Bioprocesses
Chris Hatch
River Bend Labs
St. Charles, MO


11:30 – 11:45 
Networking Assignment #2 Description
Daniel Zitomer, Ph.D., P.E.



Thursday, September 24, 2020

8:30 – 8:40     
Daniel Zitomer, Ph.D., P.E.
Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI


8:40 – 9:20     
Biogas Code Compliance, Safety and Use
V.P. Tale, Ph.D., P. Eng.
St. Charles, MO


9:20 - 9:50     
Biogas Quality and Conditioning
Dave Broihahn, P.E. and Kim Murdock-Timmerman
Unison Solutions, Inc.
Dubuque, IA




Case Study 1: Toxicity Recovery in Anaerobic Sequencing Batch Reactor
Bill Williams
Hackettstown, NJ


Case Study 2: Michigan Sugar Co. Anaerobic Contact Process
Lauren LaCourse
Michigan Sugar Company
Bay City, MI


11:00 – 11:30 
Case Study 3: Cheese, Anaerobic Digestion & Heat and Power
Rick Koller
Fairview Swiss Cheese
Fredonia, PA


11:30 – 12:00 
Case Study 4: Thermophilic Acid-Mesophilic Gas Digester for Industrial Food Waste Valorization
Dave Ellis, P. Eng.
Azura Associates
Waterloo, Ontario (Canada)


Case Study 5: Expanded Granular Sludge Bed for Recycle Paper Mill
Thomas Murphy
Liberty Paper, Inc.
Becker, MN


12:30 – 12:45 
Closing Remarks
Daniel H. Zitomer, Ph.D., P.E.
Marquette University





Registration & Cost

Course registration is limited to 250 attendees.

Dr. Daniel Zitomer
Marquette University
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(phone) 414-288-5733

(Student registration = $30) Student registration provides verified full-time college student attendees with access to all lectures. Student's faculty advisers will be contacted to verify full-time enrollment in good standing.

(Standard registration = $300) Standard registration provides attendees with access to all lectures and a copy of all course handout material online.

(Discount Standard Registration for 2 or more registrants = $225) Registration for two or more people from the same company receive this 25% discounted rate. Discount registrants receive access to to all lectures and all class material online.