Thomas, Anu (Dr)

Postdoctoral Researcher

Anu Rachel Thomas is a PhD graduate in Environmental Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Her research work has contributed significantly to resolve the looming septic tank waste management problem prevailing in India. She has adopted an integrated and sustainable approach with resource recovery that treated not only septic tank waste but also household organic waste. She made a detailed study on in-vessel co-composting that produced international quality compost from the various waste streams at a rapid rate. She also monitored the various greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and fate of emerging contaminants in the septage during co-composting. The outcome of the research got published in reputed international journals and presented at international conferences that received best poster awards. She and her team developed a protype named “NoWAH” to solve the household waste management problem based on the research carried out. It has received social recognition through prestigious Gandhian Young Technology Innovation Award GYTI  2018 at Rashtrapati Bhavan and Appreciation award on World Toilet day at SANIVATION 2017. After her PhD, she joined Teaching Faculty cum Training Coordinator at Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Academy of WASH Institute, India. She has involved in the course development, teaching aid preparation and course implementation for one-year Post Graduate Diploma students of Sanitary Inspectors ‘course, Water and Wastewater Quality Management course and Non-Sewered Sanitation (NSS) course at WASH Academy. She has given short term and long-term trainings as part of capacity building project entitled “Skill Development in Fecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) sector in Indian towns and cities” supported by USAID to various stakeholders in the WASH sector. Out of her passion, she been a technical cum operation in-charge of Mobile Septage Treatment unit (MTU), developed by WASH Institute in association with Duke University for on-site wastewater treatment and re-use. She also got an opportunity to give awareness about Hygiene aspects by working as a project lead for the COVID-19 response activities at Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu, India funded by UNICEF and DASRA. Her passion is to continue as a WASH learner and practitioner to serve the needy.

External links


Krithika, D., Thomas, A. R., Iyer, G. R., Kranert, M., & Philip, L. (2017). Spatio- temporal variation of septage characteristics of a semi-arid metropolitan city in a developing country. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24(8),7060-7076.

Thomas, A. R., Kranert, M., & Philip, L. (2018). In-vessel co-composting–a rapid resource recovery option for septage treatment in Indian cities. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 8(4), 688-697.

Thomas, A. R., Rosario, A. P., Philip, L., & Kranert, M. (2019). Performance Evaluation of In-vessel System for Co-composting of Septage. In Waste Management and Resource Efficiency (pp. 507-520). Springer, Singapore.

Thomas, A. R., Arulraj, P. R., Kranert, M., & Philip, L. (2020). Investigation on greenhouse gas emissions and compost dynamics during in-vessel co-composting of septage and mixed organic wastes. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 17, 1675-1690.

Thomas, A. R., Kranert, M., & Philip, L. (2020). Fate and impact of pharmaceuticals and personal care products during septage co-composting using an in-vessel composter. Waste management, 109, 109-118.

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