Academic Profile : Faculty

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Prof Zhou Yan
Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Zhou is currently a Professor, Program Director and Assistant Chair (Faculty) in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). She received her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering, from Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC), University of Queensland, Australia, in 2008, and joined Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI) as a Research Fellow in the same year. She joined CEE as a faculty in Sep 2014, and concurrently served Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Center (AEBC) as Deputy Director in 2014 - 2020. Her research efforts have been focused on energy efficient water treatment and reclamation, and resources recovery from sludge and waste. Specifically, her research interests are (1) Energy harvesting from municipal and industrial wastewater, (2) Energy reduction in nutrient removal process, (3) Sludge management and energy recovery, (4) Nutrient recovery and reuse.

Dr. Zhou serves as an Editor for Water Research, Associate Editor for Water and Environment Journal and Board Member for ACS ES&T Water. She is a management committee member of International Water Association (IWA) Sludge Management Specialist Group. She has published more than 190 SCI tracked journal papers with H-index of 47 (Aug 2023, Web of Science), and over 40 conference contributions including 15 plenary lecture, keynote speeches and invited talks. Six of the journal publications are highly cited in Nature Communication, Water Research, ISME Journal, etc.. She is Co-Chair, Member of Steering Committee, Member of Program Committee, Member of Scientific Committee for more than 10 conferences in the past 5 years. She has filed 21 patents and 13 of the patents are granted. Three patents has been acquired by local and overseas companies in collaboration projects.

Dr. Zhou works closely with industries and has strong collaboration with local and international companies to deploy her IPs, e.g. Micron, Global Foundries, Anaergia, JFE Engineering, NSL, Conny Tech, Memstar, Leader Technologies, etc.. She has designed multiple pilot-scale, demonstration-scale and full-scale engineering systems for the companies for their water treatment and recycling and sludge treatment projects. As a PI, she has secured more than S$17.6 mil competitive and industry research funding since she joined School of CEE.

She is a recipient of IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards due to her significant contribution to the engineering progress and the quality of life in Singapore. She is the final winner of ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women to recognize her effort in solving water and waste problems in ASEAN countries via her projects in Sri Lanka, India, Laos and Thailand. She is a recipient of L'Oreal Singapore For Women in Science National Fellowship Award for her scientific excellence in her career and as role model for the younger generation. She received prestigious Nanyang Research Award (Young Investigator) in 2021.
(1) Energy harvesting from municipal and industrial wastewater
(2) Energy reduction in nutrient removal process
(3) Sludge management and energy recovery
(4) Nutrient recovery and reuse
  • A membrane-based biotechnology for single cell protein production from renewable biogas: a sustainable way to feed the future
  • A Sustainable Bio-platform for High Quality Microbial Protein Production
  • A Sustainable Bio-platform for High Quality Microbial Protein Production (CEE-ZY)
  • Biogas Upgrading with Carbon Capture and Energy Recovery Enhancement - Proof of Concept (POC)
  • Demonstration of and study on continuous thermal hydrolysis and pyrolysis for sludge management and pyrolytic carbon application
  • Monitoring of Nitrous Oxide emissions at Changi WRP
  • Novel feedstock development from fruit and vegetable waste for mycoprotein cultivation
  • State-of-the-art Nanofiltration Membranes with Advanced Bioprocesses for Next-generation Wastewater Management, Water Reclamation and Resources Recovery
2022 CoE Research Award (Special Mention)
2022 L'Oreal Singapore For Women in Science National Fellowship Award
2021 Nanyang Research Award (Young Investigator)
2021 CEE Research Award
2019 ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women, Final Winner
2019 10 Years Long Service Award from Nanyang Technological University
2017 IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards
2017 National Junior College (NJC) Service of Honor Awards
2008 Contribution to Australian Biotechnology Industry Award
2008 Best Paper Award in EBCRC Annual Conference
Fellowships & Other Recognition
2022 Interviewed by Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS)
2022 Top 2% Scientists (by Stanford University)
2022 Work on “Development of uses for biochar—a by-product from pyrolyzing sewage sludge” is featured by Singapore Water Agency PUB
2020 Selected in Asian Scientist 100 list
2019 Nominated as IWA sludge specialist group management committee member
2019 - present Editor of Water Research
2017 Tan Chin Tuan Exchange Fellowship
Courses Taught
EN0002 Environmental Issues and Sustainability
EM5101 Environmental Quality
CV3015 Environmental Engineering
EN3002 Wastewater Engineering
EM9105 Energy Resources Management
EM5107 Environmental Health and Safety Management
CC0006 Sustainability: Social, Economy, Environment
EN0001 Sustainability Practices for Urban and Marine Environment
CV6503 Wastewater Treatment and process design
Supervision of PhD Students
Current - Varsha Jayachandran, Zhang Baorui, Huang Peitian
Graduated - Chen Rongfen, Wang Li, Lu Dan, Ishara Fernando, Do Thi Mai, Yan Wangwang, Wu Dan, Chua Feng Jun, Pham Minh Than, Zhu Wenyu, Yu Shuyan, Zhang Minming