Anaerobic Treatment Short Course

Anaerobic Treatment of High-Strength Industrial and Agricultural Wastes

Tuesday, Sept. 15 to Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020

Raynor Memorial Library
Beaumier Suite
Marquette University 
1335 West Wisconsin Ave. 
Milwaukee, WI 53233


About the Course

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 80 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

Equipment, product and service provider exhibition:
Course attendees will have the opportunity to discuss specific equipment suppliers, component representatives, product suppliers and consultants. If your company is interested in acquiring an exhibition space to display and share your expertise during the course, please register as an exhibitor (exhibition space is limited).

Continuing education credits: 
Course attendees earn approximately 1.0 continuing education units or 10.75 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. 

Vice-President of Applied Technologies Inc. in Brookfield, 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 forming Applied Technologies, Totzke worked for CH2M Hill and CRSS 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 CH2M, 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 the Water Environment Federation for outstanding service in engineering education. He presently teaches graduate classes on anaerobic biotechnology and biological wastewater treatment, and has performed research for the National Science Foundation, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, State of Wisconsin and others. 


For more information on traveling to Marquette University, visit the general information page.

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020

7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

Coffee, juice, muffins and bagels, etc.

8:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Introduction and Welcome
Kristina Ropella, Ph.D.
Opus Dean, Opus College of Engineering
Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Fundamentals of Anaerobic Treatment
Patrick McNamara, Ph.D.
Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

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

10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.


11 a.m. to noon

Presentation to be announced
Dr. Willy Verstrate

Noon to 1:30 p.m.


1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Industrial Waste Treatment Technologies and Design
Dennis E. Totzke, P.E.
Applied Technologies, Inc.
Brookfield, WI

2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. 

Biogas Code Compliance, Safety and Use
Ed Longhini
Applied Technologies, Inc.
Brookfield, WI

3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.


3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Biogas Quality and Conditioning
Ed Longhini
Applied Technologies, Inc.
Brookfield, WI

4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Toxicity in Anaerobic Bioprocesses
Chris Hatch
River Bend Labs
St. Charles, MO

4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Social Hour and Poster Session 


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

7:45 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Coffee, juice, muffins and bagels, etc.

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Presentation to be announced
Dr. Willy Verstrate

9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Process Start-Up, Monitoring and Control 
Jeffrey Mummert
M12 Operating Systems, LLC
 O’Fallon, MO

9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

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

10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Case Study 1: Topic to be announced

11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Case Study 2: Topic to be announced

Noon to 1:30 p.m. 


1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Case Study 3: Topic to be announced

2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Case Study 4: Topic to be announced

2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Case Study 5: Topic to be announced

3:15 p.m.


3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Post-course tour of Marquette University Environmental Engineering Laboratory
Engineering Hall, Room 435
1637 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Registration & Cost

Course registration is limited to 80 attendees.

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

(Student registration = $235) Student registration provides verified full-time college student attendees with access to all lectures and exhibitor space, lunches and a copy of all course handout material. Student's faculty advisers will be contacted to verify full-time enrollment in good standing.

(Standard registration = $820) Standard registration provides attendees with access to all lectures and exhibitor space, lunches and a copy of all course handout material.

(Exhibitor registration = $900) This registration is for vendors and others interested in exhibiting their equipment and services in designated areas. Conference exhibitor registration provides one attendee with exhibitor space, access to all lectures and lunches, a copy of all course handout material, a five-foot standard table to display exhibits.


Attendees must make lodging arrangements at the facility of their choice (registration does not include lodging). 

A limited block of rooms has been reserved at the DoubleTree Hotel Milwaukee City Centre, 611 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, Wis., in connection with the course at a rate of $134 per night. You may make reservations by calling the DoubleTree Hotel Milwaukee City Centre at (414) 273-2950 or 1-800-222-TREE by Saturday, Aug. 15 and use group code "DIG".