Biofilm Engineering Laboratory

Eoin Casey






+353 1 716 1877




Eoin Casey was awarded the BE (Chemical) and PhD degrees from University College Dublin in 1994 and 1999 respectively. He spent one year as a research assistant in the Bioprocess Engineering research group in TU Vienna between 1994 and 1995. He spent three years (1999 to 2002) working in and R&D role at Scale-up Systems Ltd, where he was responsible for consultancy projects for clients in the biotechnology industry. He was appointed as lecturer in the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering since 2002 and is currently Professor.


Internal Collaborators

Dr Cormac Murphy, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science
Dr Kevin O’Connor, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science

Professor Alojz Ivankovic, UCD School of Mechanical Engineering

External Collaborators

Prof Michael Semmens, University of Minnesota, USA

Prof Philp Stewart, Montana State University, USA


Honours and Awards

Year: 2014.
Title: Innovation of the year at the 2014 Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards
Year: 2014.
Title: Fellow of the IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers)
Year: 2013.
Title: Innovation of the Year at the Irish Lab Awards
Year: 2011.
Title: European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant
Year: 2003.
Title: UCD Presidents Research Award


Association: European Membrane Society, Function/Role: Member
Association: Institution of Chemical Engineers, Function/Role: Fellow
Association: International Water Association, Function/Role: Member


Patent EP Patent 2,361,367 : Determining biofilm thickness in a membrane supported biofilm reactor

Conference Contributions

R. Heffernan, O. Habimana, A.J.C. Semião, A. Safari and E. Casey (2014) Trapped in the matrix: the impact of Natural Organic Matter fouling on bacterial adhesion under full-scale Nanofiltration processes. [Oral Presentation], Biofilms 6, Vienna, Austria , 11-MAY-14 – 13-MAY-14.
E Casey (2014) Innovation in the use of energy in wastewater treatment. [Invited Oral Presentation], Workshop on wastewater policy in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland , 08-MAY-14 – 08-MAY-14.
E Casey (2012) Gas permeable PDMS membranes for bubbleless aeration in wastewater treatment. [Oral Presentation], Aachener Membran Kolloquium, Aachen Germany , 07-NOV-12 – 08-NOV-12.
Heffernan, H., Murphy, C. and Casey, E.; (2006) Biofilm Systems VI. [Poster Presentation], Biofilm Systems VI, Amsterdam , 24-SEP-06 – 27-SEP-06.
Heffernan, H., Murphy, C. and Casey, E.; (2007) 4th ASM Conference on Biofilms. [Poster Presentation], 4th ASM Conference on Biofilms, Quebec City, Canada , 25-MAR-07 – 29-MAR-07.


Committee : UCD Engineering Building committee (2003 to 2006)
Committee : Engineering Marks and Standards Working Group (2002-2005)


Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Associate Professor (2012-present)
Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Senior Lecturer (2008 to 2012)
Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Lecturer (2002 to 2008)
Employer: Scale-up systems Ltd (1999 to 2002)
Position: Senior Engineer
Employer: TU Vienna
Position: Research Assistant (Bioprocess Engineering Research Group) (1994 to 1995)


Year 1999 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1994 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: BE Subject:

Other Activities

External Examiner for PhD thesis, TU Denmark (2009)
External Examiner for D. Phil thesis, Queens University, Belfast (2003)
External Examiner for M Sc thesis, Dublin City University (2002)
Reviewer for the journals: Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Water Research, Journal of Membrane Science, Biotechnology Progress (2002-present)
Evaluation Committe for Enterprise Ireland Commecialisation Fund (2004)


Peer Reviewed Journals

Allen, A, Semião, AJC, Habimana, O, Heffernan, R, Safari, A, Casey, A. (2015) ‘Nanofiltration and Reverse osmosis surface topographical heterogeneities: do they matter for initial bacterial adhesion?’. Journal of Membrane Science, 486 :10-20. Available Online [Details]
Gazzola, G; Habimana, O; Murphy, C; Casey. E (2015) ‘Comparison of biomass detachment from two different Pseudomonas spp. biofilms under constant shear conditions’. Biofouling, 31 (1):13-18. [DOI] [Details]
Syron, E, Semmens, MJ, Casey, E (2015) ‘Performance analysis of a pilot-scale membrane aerated biofilm reactor for the treatment of landfill leachate’. Chemical Engineering Journal, 273 :120-129. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Davis R, Duane G, Kenny ST, Cerrone F, Guzik MW, Babu RP, Casey E, O’connor, KE (2015) ‘High cell density cultivation of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 using glucose without the need for oxygen enriched air supply’. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 112 :725-733. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Cao, H., Habimana, O, Semião, A.J.C., Allen, A, Heffernan, R, Casey, E (2015) ‘Understanding particle deposition kinetics on NF membranes: a focus on micro-beads & membrane interactions at different environmental conditions’. Journal of Membrane Science, 475 :367-375. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Show All

Book Chapters

Syron, E., Casey. E. (2013) ‘Membrane aerated biofilm reactors’ In: Eric M. Hoek, E.M., Tarabara, V (eds). Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology. USA: Wiley. Available Online [Details]
Syron, E, Casey, E (2014) ‘Membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment’ In: Anil Kumar Pabby, Ana Maria Sastre, and Syed S.H. Rizvi (eds) (eds). Handbook of Membrane Separations: Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Biotechnological Applications, second edition. USA: CRC Press. [Details]
E Casey; (2008) ‘Membrane bioreactors’ In: Anil Kumar Pabby, Ana Maria Sastre, and Syed S.H. Rizvi (eds). Handbook of Membrane Separations: Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Biotechnological Applications. USA: CRC Press. , pp.1007-1022 Available Online

Conference Publications

O. Habimana, R. Heffernan, A.J.C. Semião, A. Safari and E. Casey (2014) Trapped in the matrix: the impact of Natural Organic Matter fouling on bacterial adhesion under full-scale Nanofiltration processes Biofilms 6 Vienna, Austria, , 11-MAY-14 – 13-MAY-14 [Details]
Eoin Syron, Pete Vale & Eoin Casey (2014) Where Did The Bubbles Go? How To Reduce The Energy Requirements For Municipal Wastewater Treatment International Water Association Leading Edge Technology Conference 2014 Abu Dhabi, UAE, , 26-MAY-14 – 30-MAY-14 [Details]
Heffernan, R, Semiao, AJC, Desmond, P, Cao, H, Safari, A, Habimana, O, Casey (2013) Ethanol as a method of disinfecting nanofiltration membranes Engineering With Membranes, (EWM2013), Saint Pierre d’Oléron, France Saint Pierre d’Oléron, France, , 03-SEP-13 – 07-SEP-13 [Details]
O. Habimana, A.J.C. Semião, H. Cao, R. Heffernan, G. Gazzola, A. Safari, E. Casey. (2012) When cell meets membrane: a closer look at early stage biofouling during nanofiltration processes Biofilms 5 Paris, france, , 10-DEC-12 – 12-DEC-12 [Details]
E. Syron, E. Casey (2012) Performance of a Pilot Scale Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor for the Treatment of Landfill Leachate Annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Pittsburgh, USA, , 28-OCT-12 – 02-NOV-12 [Details]

Other Journals

O’Grady, D., Barrett, M., Casey, E.., Glennon, B.; (2006) ‘The PAT toolbox for production scale-crystallization’ Pharmaceutical Manufacturing 6 (5) :44-47. Available Online [Details]


Schuster, K.C, Gapes, J.R., Casey, E., Friedl, A., Schmidt, A; (1997) Erneuerbare Rohstoffe zur Energie- und Chemierohstoffgewinnung. In: Umweltbiotechnologie in Österreich. Schneider, M. and Gaugitsch, H. (eds.), Monographien Band 85A. Vienna, Austria: Reports [Details]


Current Research Interests:

Biofilms and bacterial adhesion
Membrane technology
Bioreactor modeling and scale-up
Computational Fluid Dynamics
Our main programme of research concerns bacterial biofilms, with a primary emphasis on interactions between the physico-chemical microenvironment and physiology. Our approach involves a combination of experimental investigations with mathematical modelling. We are using novel scale-down systems to investigate physiological spatial heterogeneity in biofilms and to use these systems to investigate, antimicrobial susceptibility, biocatalytic activity and detachment mechanisms.

Research Projects

Sponsor : HORIZON 2020
Title : Biofouling control in nanofiltration and reverse osmosis processes using a smart polymer approach (SmartSpacer)
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-15 / 31-JUL-16
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Investigation into the use of off gas analysis for the control and optimisation of the Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-15 / 31-JAN-18
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
BioCore Environmental Ltd
Title : Biological leachate treatment with ANR & MABR technologies
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-14 / 31-AUG-15
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : TIDA
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-13 / 31-MAR-14
Sponsor : EC Framework (FP7)
Title : AFFIRM
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-11 / 30-SEP-16
Show All

Current Postgraduate Students

Andras Nemeth, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Thesis Supervisor
Fatemeh Kavousi, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Thesis Supervisor
Yihong Dai, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Thesis Supervisor
Giulio Gazzola, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Thesis Supervisor
Huayu Cao, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Thesis Supervisor