Student in the spotlight: Andrés Felipe Sossa

16 feb 2023.
  • Name: Andrés Felipe Sossa 
  • Age: 27 
  • From: Bogota Colombia 
  • Education: Master Water Resources, University of Stuttgart, Germany 

My name is Andrés Felipe Sossa, I’m 27 years old and I’m from Bogota Colombia. There I did my bachelor in Civil Engineering at the University of the Andes. Later, I worked in consulting for two years, after that I started my master in water resources at the university of Stuttgart in Germany. For that master I’m doing my internship at CEW. In my free time I like swimming, reading, movies, going to the gym and writing. I like writing fiction, and for that I have a little page where people can read tales and the book that I wrote. 

Why did you choose CEW? 

At my university there is a committee of an organisation that does a lot of things related to hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application. In the committee I was responsible for public relations. So I was the one who informed the professors and students about the various events of the organisation. And there I talked to a friend that was doing her internship at CEW. She convinced me that CEW is a great place to do the internship, because they help you to get used to the working environment. I think it is not always easy to make the change from school to a working environment, so it is nice that they really guide you here. 

What projects are you working on? 

During my internship I am working on two projects. The first project is in collaboration with the company Aquabiosolve, and in this project we are testing and validating the treatment effluent water from greenhouses by means of electro-remediation. Initially the water has nitrate, the electro-remediation technology causes a reduction of this nitrate into ammonium. After this, the ammonium is absorbed by a column, leaving the water even cleaner. The material of the column is lignin, this material is extracted from wood. The second project is in collaboration with the company Aquisense, and in this project we are testing and validating a new LED UV-C light product to be launched aiming general consumers with point-of-use drinking water supply. When the water is treated with UVC-light, the DNA of the bacteria changes, preventing certain internal connections to happen. UVC-light causes the dead of the organisms. Essentially the goal of both projects is to treat water. My role in these projects is to run the pilots, to do the tests and analysis. At the end of the experimental part I will produce the final report that will be sent to the companies. 

What is the most important thing you have learned so far? 

The most important thing I have learned so far is trusting yourself. I think that applies to everything, because if you trust yourself everything gets so much easier. For example, during the tests of the Aquabiosolve project, the setup was clogged and we could not continue with the experiment. After trying different options, we were finally able to find a solution, it took more than a week to figure out what the problem was. During that time it is always hard to stay focused and trust that the work that you’re doing is correct, but after everything works out you see that it was worth it.  

What is your daily routine at CEW? 

Every day I arrive around 9 and then I start planning what I’m going to do that day. Some days I must do tests with the setup and analysis, so then I go to the Water Application Centre (WAC). But I also have to write the report that we are going to present to the client. So, when I’m working on that I will be at the office. 

What are your plans after the internship? 

After my internship at CEW I will start my thesis at Wetsus. When I started my internship at CEW someone told me about Wetsus and it sounded really interesting. So, I asked someone there and they offered me an internship in a project. The project is going to be about the characterisation of micropollutants in sewage water. We are still figuring out what my part is going to be in this project. But after I finished my thesis there I will be done with my master, and I will probably start working in the water technology sector in the Netherlands or Germany. 

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