Prof. Joaquim Comas is leading the Modelling and decision support system research line at the Evaluation and Technologies Area of ICRA. He is also Associate Professor of the Chemical Engineering Department of the University of Girona, where he is a member of the Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Engineering research group (LEQUIA, lequia.udg.cat), which belongs to the Network of Innovation Support Centers of the Catalan Government (TECNIO ACC1Ó). He is lecturing at the Bsc’s in Chemistry, Environmental Sciences and Biotechnology and at the Msc in Water Science and Technology.
His research expertise includes: Development and application of multicriteria decision support tools for environmental systems. Advanced modelling, control and sustainable assessment of urban water systems. Membrane technologies (membrane bioreactors, integrated membrane systems, forward osmosis and recycled membranes) for wastewater treatment and water reuse. Removal of micropollutants. Technological and nature-based solutions for circular cities. He has also investigated the planning and operation of the urban water cycle, involving the application of artificial intelligence techniques, and paying close attention to the interactions of the treatment practices and the receiving environment. Currently, his research activity is focused on the development of tools and technologies to foster implementation of circular economy in the urban water cycle (e.g. water reuse), mainly through the development and application of multicriteria decision support systems, nature-based solutions and membrane technologies.
He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers in SCI journals (h-index 27), supervised 17 PhD thesis, and he has participated (as PI and/or partner) in more than 50 public/private R+D+i and transfer of technology projects (both at national and European level), including the coordination of the FP7 SANITAS EU project (http://www.sanitas-itn.eu). Currently he is the PI for the European EdiCitNet project and Spanish CLEaN-TOUR projects related to circular economy and nature-based solutions.
He was one of the founders of the technological spin off company SISLtech in 2003, focused on intelligent solutions for waste, wastewater and water management. In 2006 he was awarded with the Early Career Research Excellence award by the international Environmental Modelling and Software society (iEMSs). He owns an Spanish patent in energy optimization for MBR and an European one for the retrofitting of MBR to OMBR. Since 2015, he is a member of the management committee of the Instrumentation, Control and Automation Specialist Group of the International Water Association (IWA) and a member of the management committee of the Catalan Water Partnership (http://www.cwp.cat).