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Andreas Schönborn

Andreas Schönborn

Andreas Schönborn

ZHAW School of Life Sciences and Facility Management
Institute of Natural Resource Sciences
Grüentalstrasse 14
8820 Wädenswil

+41 (0) 58 934 58 10

Personal profile

Management role

Head, Ecological Engineering Group

Position at the ZHAW

Lecturer and Researcher

Expertise and research interests

The focus of my work is Ecological Engineering, as defined by IEES ( "Ecological Engineering integrates ecological principles, processes and organisms with existing engineering practice to a holistic approach for problem-solving". Since Sep. 2016 I am, together with Raffael Kaenzig, co-president of IEES.

Since 2007, I have been teaching this approach to prospective environmental engineers at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW, for example in the module "Ecotechnologies" (6 ECTS), in the master module "Ecological Engineering & Renewable Energy", as well as through direct supervision of > 100 BSc and MSc students.

On the research side, my first focus is on the behavior of micropollutants in recycled water and water cycle systems, with a focus on estrogenic and genotoxic pollutants. Since 2009, I have been active in the development of effects-based bioassays.

My second research focus is on the production and application of tailored biochar as an element of the circular economy. Since 2017, we have been operating our own research pyrolysis plant for this purpose. A main focus - in the context of ecological sanitation - has been the pyrolysis of fecal matter and other organic wastes, and the reuse of biochar produced from them.

Professional milestones

Dec. 2017 Co-founder planar4 GmbH (ZHAW Spinoff),
since Aug. 2017 Head Ecological Engineering Group
since 2016 Co-president International Ecological Engineering Society
since 2013 Lecturer and researcher
2014-2020 Head of major Renewable Energies and Ecological Engineering
2012-2017 Head Wetlands group
since 2007 Research Associate at ZHAW Waedenswil
2000-2007 Self employed, Director armadillo media gmbh, Lucerne
1999-2013 Editor & author of

Membership of networks



Articles in scientific journal, peer-reviewed
Conference contributions, peer-reviewed
Other publications
Oral conference contributions and abstracts

Publications before appointment at the ZHAW

C. Pahl-Wostl, A. Schönborn, N. Willi, J. Muncke, T.A. Larsen, 2003, Investigating consumer attitudes towards the new technology of urine separation, Water Science & Technology Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 57–65

Schlumpf, C., Pahl-Wostl, C., Schönborn, A., Jaeger, C.J. and Imboden, D. (2001). IMPACTS – An Information Tool for Citizens to Assess Impacts of Climate Change from a Regional Perspective. Climate Change 51, 199–241

R.Ch. Billeter, B. Züst, A. Schönborn, 1998, Switzerland, in: Constructed Wetlands in Europe, J. Vymazal, H. Brix, P.F. Cooper, M.B. Green, R. Haberl (eds.), Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands

A. Schönborn, B. Züst, E. Underwood, 1997, Long Term Perfomance of the Sand-Plant Filter Schattweid (Switzerland), Water Science & Technology Vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 307-314

J. Staudenmann, A. Schönborn, C. Etnier, 1996, Recycling the Resource – Ecological Engineering for Wastewater Treatment (Proceedings), Transtec Publications