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Mari Winkler

Faculty Photo

John R. Kiely Endowed Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering


Dr. Winkler (Mari) joined the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department faculty at the University of Washington in March, 2015. During her scientific career she studied at the University Duisburg Essen (DE) (Chemistry Department), at University of British Columbia (CA) (Microbiology and Immunology Department), at Columbia University (Earth and Environmental Engineering Department), and at the University of New South Wales (AU) in the Marine-Microbiology Department. She received her PhD from the Environmental Biotechnology Department at Delft University of Technology (NL) and wrote two dissertations; one in the field of environmental engineering and one in microbial ecology. She worked in the Biosystems Engineering Department at the Ghent University (BE) with Europe’s most prestigious Post-Doctoral fellowship (Marie Curie). Dr Winkler received several prizes for her work (AEESP outstanding PhD dissertation award, Huber Technology prize, Jaap van de Graaf award, B-IWA industry award, ISME-IWA Biocluster award, Rhurverband water award, Paul Busch award). Her curriculum includes industrial experience in the field of process engineering (NL) and sales management (DE, AT). She is the newsletter editor of the IWA group for sludge management. Her academic interests include microbial ecology of mixed culture communities, mathematical modeling of microbial interactions, and innovative wastewater and sludge treatment processes including Anammox, aerobic granular sludge, resource recovery, and biosolids technology. 


  • Ph.D., Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Ph.D., Columbia University, USA
  • M.S., University of Duisburg Essen, Germany
  • M.S., University of British Columbia, Canada
  • B.S., University of Duisburg Essen, Germany
  • B.S., University of New South Wales, Australia

Research Statement

Mari’s work explores microbiology, resource recovery and innovative wastewater and sludge treatment. One project focuses on developing enhanced nitrogen removal processes to convert ammonium into nitrogen gas without the use of oxygen or organic carbon, and can potentially reduce treatment plant costs and environmental impact. Her research will extend to phosphorus removal and recovery, end-of-pipe wastewater treatment, and microbial ecology.

Honors & awards

  • Paul Busch Award, Water environment Resource Foundation, USA, 2015
  • BioCluster award, IWA / ISME, 2014
  • B-IWA industry award, Belgian- IWA, 2014
  • MARIE CURIE Postdoctoral Fellowship, European Union, 2013
  • CH2M HILL/AEESP outstanding doctoral dissertation award, 2013
  • JAAP VAN DE GRAAF award, WitteVeen&Bos and TU Delft, 2012
  • HUBER Technology price, German-Bavarian Minister of Environment, 2012
  • Top 4 PhD students in water related research at the Technical University of Delft, 2011&2012
  • Scholarship from RUHR VERBAND, Water-boards from Western Germany, 2006