Associate Professor Ilje Pikaar

Associate Professor

School of Civil Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 51389


Ilje Pikaar received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (2004) and Master of Science in Environmental Technology (2006) from the Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He received his PhD degree in Environmental Engineering in 2012 from The University of Queensland, Australia.

Ilje Pikaar expertise involve the areas of environmental electrochemistry, the global nitrogen cycle, sewer corrosion, next generation sludge management, metal recovery, integrated urban water management and resource recovery with a special focus on nitrogen recovery and production of microbial proteins. Central theme in his international oriented research approach is to conduct high-quality research and extrapolate fundamental knowledge and scientific discoveries to real life applications and development of innovative technologies.

In the past 8 years, Ilje Pikaar has obtained signification funding, including 7 ARC projects as chief investigator. He also played an important role in the development in the CRC Blue Economy, a 10-year AUS$50 million dollar project ( Equally important, his work on integrated urban water management led to a first author publication in the prestigious journal Science. In 2018, his work on the re-engineering the global nitrogen cycle was awarded the prize of best feature article of 2017 in the esteemed journal Environmental Science and Technology. He has also published in other prestigious journals such as Nature Food and The Lancet Planetary Health. Overall, he has published over 40 peer reviewed articles with an average impact factor of his publications of 8.51, which is quite uniquely considering his field of research.

From 2015 to 2019, Ilje Pikaar was the secretary of the International Water Association (IWA) Cluster of Resource Recovery from Water. As the secretary of the cluster for resource recovery from water of the IWA, Ilje Pikaar has been very active in organizing international conferences and workshops and other IWA related activities. Since 2019 he is the co-chair of the cluster. He was the co-chair of the 3rd IWA Resource Recovery from Water Conference in Venice (8-12 September 2019).

Since January 2018, Ilje Pikaar is board member of the International Waste Working Group (IWWG). The IWWG is the leading organisation in the field of solid waste management globally. Since September 2018 joined the editorial board of Waste Management, the leading scientific journal dedicated to solid waste management, as Associate Editor, handling over 100 manuscripts annually. In 2020, he was the handling guest editor of a special edition on 'Resource Recovery from Water' in Water Research. Moreover, in October 2020 he joined the Early Career Editorial Advisory Board of Environmental Science and Technology. Lastly, Dr. Pikaar has signed a book contract with the IWA publishing for the development of a graduate entry masters textbook on Resource Recovery from Water. The expected publication date of this book will be mid 2021. Finally, he is a managing program committee member for the bi-annual Resource Recovery from Water conferences of the International Water Association.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


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Book Chapter

  • Ostermeyer, Pieter, Capson-Tojo, Gabriel, Hülsen, Tim, Carvalho, Gilda, Oehmen, Adrian, Rabaey, Korneel and Pikaar, Ilje (2022). Resource recovery from municipal wastewater: what and how much is there?. Resource Recovery from Water. (pp. 1-19) edited by Ilje Pikaar, Jeremy Guest, Ramon Ganigué, Paul Jensen, Korneel Rabaey, Thomas Seviour, John Trimmer, Olaf van der Kolk, Céline Vaneeckhaute and Willy Verstraete. London, United Kingdom: IWA Publishing. doi: 10.2166/9781780409566_0001

  • Akyol, Çağrı, Ozbayram, E. Gozde, Eusebi, Anna Laura, Foglia, Alessia, Cipolletta, Giulia, Frison, Nicola, Conca, Vincenzo, Da Ros, Cinzia, Wessels, Coos, Ganigué, Ramon, Pikaar, Ilje, Oehmen, Adrian, Carvalho, Gilda and Fatone, Francesco (2022). Upscaled and validated technologies for the production of bio-based materials from wastewater. Resource Recovery from Water. (pp. 197-222) edited by Ilje Pikaar, Jeremy Guest, Ramon Ganigué, Paul Jensen, Korneel Rabaey, Thomas Seviour, John Trimmer, Olaf van der Kolk, Céline Vaneeckhaute and Willy Verstraete. London, United Kingdom: IWA Publishing. doi: 10.2166/9781780409566_0197

  • Hülsen, Tim, Carvalho, Gilda, Egger, Felix, Cruz, Heidy, Vertstraete, Willy, Batstone, Damien J. and Pikaar, Ilje (2020). Production of single-cell proteins from organic matter and residual nitrogen. Wastewater treatment residues as resources for biorefinery products and biofuels. (pp. 355-389) edited by José Antonio Olivares, Daniel Puyol, Juan Antonio Melero and Javier Dufour. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-816204-0.00016-3

  • Pikaar, Ilje, Matassa, Silvio, Rabaey, Korneel, Laycock, Bronwyn, Boon, Nico and Verstraete, Willy (2018). The urgent need to re-engineer nitrogen-efficient food production for the planet. Managing water, soil and waste resources to achieve sustainable development goals: Monitoring and implementation of integrated resources management. (pp. 35-69) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-75163-4_3

  • Pikaar, Ilje, Virdis, Bernardino, Freguia, Stefano and Keller, Jurg (2014). Wastewater treatment (microbial bioelectrochemical) and production of value-added by-products. Encyclopedia of applied electrochemistry. (pp. 2111-2117) edited by Gerhard Kreysa, Ken-ichiro Ota and Robert F. Savinell. New York, NY, United States: Springer New York. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-6996-5_89

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

Completed Supervision