Caroline Van Steendam

Postdoc. Researcher

[email protected]


  • Dual Ph.D. Degree in Environmental and Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mi and University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (Sep 2019)
  • MS of Science in Chemical Engineering, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (Jul 2014)
  • BS in Chemical Engineering, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (Jul 2012)

Areas of Interest
Sustainable water and wastewater treatment.

Research Projects 
The overarching goal of my dissertation was to identify AnMBR design characteristics that best enhance domestic wastewater treatment in temperate climates. By identifying novel design and operating characteristics suited for low temperature AnMBR treatment of domestic wastewater, this dissertation aimed to move the anaerobic wastewater treatment field forward towards net positive energy operation with minimal environmental impacts.

Other Interests:
Running, climbing, biking, violin, reading (mostly fiction), traveling.

Honors and Awards

  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellow,
  • Integrated Training in Microbial Systems Fellow,
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD Fellowship,
  • ​TNAV price: Best Thesis regarding Water and Sludge Technology at the Chemical Engineering Department of KU Leuven,
  • Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant​.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Van Steendam, C., al, 2019. Improving anaerobic digestion via direct interspecies electron transfer requires development of suitable characterization methods. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 57, pp.183-190.

Conference and Poster Presentations

  • [Oral] Van Steendam, C., F: Ordonez,T. Fairley, I. Smets, S. Skerlos, and L. Raskin, Design and Start-Up of Novel Biofilm-Enhanced Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor, ecoSTP, June 25-27, London, Canada.
  • [Oral] Van Steendam, C., T. Fairley, I. Smets, S. Skerlos, and L. Raskin, On energy consumption, dissolved methane, and performance of a pilot-scale anaerobic membrane bioreactor treating domestic wastewater, International Water Association 15th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion (AD15), Oct 17-20, Beijing, China.
  • [Oral] Van Steendam, C., I. Smets, L. Raskin, and S. Skerlos, Using Life Cycle Analysis Results to Evaluate Innovation Strategies for Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors Treating Domestic Wastewater, Water Environment Federation Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), Oct 1-4, 2017, Chicago, IL, USA.
  • [Oral] Van Steendam, C., I. Smets, L. Raskin, and S. Skerlos, Electricity Consumption during Fouling Mitigation in Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors , Michigan Water Environment Association and American Water Works Association Lab Practices Seminar, May 18th 2017, East Lansing, MI, USA.
  • [Poster] Van Steendam, C., T. Fairley, I. Smets, S. Skerlos, and L. Raskin, Pilot-scale Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor for Low Temperature Domestic Wastewater, Borchardt Conference: 24th Triennial Symposium on Advancements in Water & Wastewater - Borchardt Conference, Feb 21-22, 2017, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
  • [Oral] Van Steendam, C., M. Catley-Carlson, G. Daigger, A Better Water Future for Flanders “Not Too Much; Not Too Little”: The Difference We Can Make, Flanders Wise With Water Symposium, Jun 16, 2016, Brussels, Belgium.
  • [Poster/Oral] Van Steendam, C., A. Menefee, S. Skerlos, and L. Raskin, Do Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors Have a Sustainable Future for Low Temperature Domestic Wastewater Treatment? Michigan Meeting on Microbial Communities, 16-18 May, 2016, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. (with lightning talk)
  • [Poster] Van Steendam, C., N. Beaton, A. Jain, P. Puente, I. Smets, N. Love, S. Skerlos, and L. Raskin, Next-Generation Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor for Low-Temperature Domestic Wastewater Treatment: Pilot Study, 14th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion, 15-18 November, 2015, Viña del Mar, Chile.