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.
He holds a Bachelor in Chemistry (Autonomous University of Barcelona, 1993), MSc in Environmental Technologies (Universitat de Girona, 1995) and a PhD in Industrial Engineering (Universitat de Girona, 2000).
He has 4 6-year research tracks and 5 5-year teaching tracks recognized by the Spanish National Evaluation Agency as well as by the Catalan autonomous Government.
His research expertise includes the optimization of the operation and control of urban wastewater treatment and reuse systems based on: membrane technologies (membrane bioreactors followed by reverse osmosis or nanofiltration units and osmotic membrane bioreactors), removal of micropollutants in wastewater systems, application of life cycle assessment and water footprint, and the development and application of multicriteria decision support systems for the sustainable management of water (treatment and recovery) systems. He has also worked on the planning, design, modelling and advanced control of the urban water cycle infrastructures, including the application of artificial intelligence techniques.
Currently, his main research activity is focused on the development of tools and technologies (including nature-based solutions) to foster implementation of circular economy in the urban water cycle (recovery and reuse of water and nutrients), including intensive water use sectors such as tourism.
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 and MULTISOURCE 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).
He is a member of the editorial board of the open access journals Global Challenges, Water and membranes. He has participated in several scientific and programme committees for international conferences dealing with water management and environmental modelling.