WEX Center research on COVID-19 led by Prof. Sunny Jiang

Significant numbers of COVID-19 patients shed SARS-CoV-2 virus in their feces. The virus was now found in municipal wastewater. Monitoring of municipal wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 can serve as an indicator of the spread of COVID-19 in the community and provide an early warning for the resurgence of the disease.

Researchers at the WEX Center, led by Prof. Sunny Jiang, are developing methods to concentrate and purify SARS-CoV-2 from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in California and other parts of the county. The samples are analyzed for the presence and concentration of SARS-CoV-2. The viral concentration data are correlated with the reported cases of COVID-19 in the WWTP service area to understand the relationship between fecal shedding rate and wastewater concentration. The positive samples are also sequenced to determine the genetic variability and potential evolution of the virus over time as it spreading among human society.

Dr. Zhiquan Song working on COVID-19 research in Prof. Sunny Jiang’s laboratory.

May 2020

The OC Register features Prof. Sunny Jiang, WEX Associate Director, for her research on COVID-19 in sewers, in the article titled Poop tests in sewage might predict coronavirus surge

Spring 2020

WEX Fellow Dr. Imre Tàkacs teaching carbon and energy footprint modeling using SUMO

This Spring quarter, Dr. Imre Tàkacs joins Prof. Rosso in teaching ENGRCEE164/264 - Carbon and Energy Footprint Modeling of Water.

Course description: Process design for wastewater treatment. Mass- and energy-balance analysis applied to water and wastewater treatment systems. Case studies include analysis of water supply, treatment, reclamation, and reuse.
Dynamita SUMO is the dynamic process simulator used this year in class


Dr. Takács has authored one of the most cited papers in his field, developing the first dynamic model for solid separation in secondary settling. His pioneering work with WEX Fellow Daniel Nolasco lead to the development of dynamic process simulators as they are known today. He opened his company Dynamita in 2010.

Dr. Takács holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Technology from Ghent University and degrees in Environmental Bioengineering from the University of Budapest.

Dr. Imre Takács, CEO of Dynamita was named WEX Fellow in August 2019.

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April 2020

Science and its Method: a seminar on curiosity and constructive disobedience

CEE Seminar by Prof. Rosso