Prof. Dr. Lens is professor of Environmental Biotechnology at the Pollution Prevention and Resource Recovery Chair Group of the Department of Enivronmental Engineering and Water Technology of UNESCO-IHE.
Previously, he was on the faculty of the Sub-Department of Environmental Technology at Wageningen University (1999-2006), where he still has a zero nomination.
He has also held visiting faculty appointments at the Universities of Louvain La Neuve (UCL) and Leuven (KUL).
Prof. Lens trained in Environmental Sanitation, then obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at the University Gent (Belgium). He is founding Editor-in-Chief of the Review Journal “Re/Views in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology” and founding editor of the IWA Publishing series “Integrated Environmental Technology”.
He presently serves on the editorial board of the journals Biodegradation, Environmental Technology and Bioresource Technology and he is actively involved in a variety of scientific organizations (Nederlandse Biotechnology Vereninging, International Water Association and European Federation of Biotechnology), funding agencies (NWO, FWO, Irish EPA, EU), and European networks (SOWACOR, SWITCH and CAREX).
His research focuses on biofilms, sulfur biotechnology, metal speciation, bioavailability and removal, natural treatment systems, anaerobic wastewater and waste gas treatment for resource recovery and reuse.
He is the initiator of the Marie Curie Training Site “Sulfur and Metals – HEMEP”, the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral programme “Environmental Technologies for Contaminated Soils, Sediments and Solid Waste (ETECOS3)” and the Erasmus Mundus Master Course “International Master of Science in Environmental Technology (IMETE)”.
He has (co-)authored over 240 scientificpublications and edited nine book volumes. Besides innovative research, he is also a leader in education and capacity-building, organising numerous study-days, conferences, summer schools and short courses.
His awards include the IWA Publishing Award (2002), a Marie Curie Excellence Grant (2004) and a nomination as IWA fellow (2010).