Francois Fiessinger


Francois Fiessinger

Distinguished Pioneer

Professional background

Francois Fiessinger (1944-1997) spent the majority of his career at Lyonnaise de Eaux, where he became a world expert on water treatment processes, and in combining both research and operations. He obtained a MS degree from Rutgers University, U.S. in 1966.  He joined Lyonnaise in 1971 with the task of improving water treatment based on the Seine River in France.

In 1980 he was given the role of expanding Lyonnaise des Eaux’s analysis and research laboratory into an international research center named CIRCEE and became its R&D Director in 1984.  CIRCEE developed into a globally recognized point of reference in integrating advanced water process systems from research to operations.  Francois focused on fostering university collaboration throughout Europe, the U.S., Japan and South Africa, in part through the IWSA.

He published widely and in 1985, was awarded a PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of Nancy, France.  He was one of the pioneers on ultrafiltration membrane technology resulting in the major plants being installed in Europe and the U.S.. Throughout his career he encouraged young researchers and developed the Francois Fiessenger Scholarship in support of this interest.

Major Contributions to IWA

Francois’s network of both public and private sector researchers and process operators made him an ideal chairman of the IWSA Scientific and Technical Council — from 1988 to 1993. His charismatic personality achieved wide enthusiasm and cooperation resulting in significant progress in international understanding of the need and the availability of advanced engineering processes.

He held strong views on the importance of integrated water and wastewater management, but sadly due his untimely death in 1997, did not witness the integration of IWSA and IAWPRC.

Author:  Michael Rouse

Contributors: Patricia Renaud, Suez CIRCEE