Ao.Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

Matthias Zessner
Tel.: +43-1-58801-22616

Centre for Water Resource Systems,
Vienna University of Technology,
Karlsplatz 13/222, A-1040 Vienna, Austria

Institute for Water Quality, Resource and Waste Management,

Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13/226, A-1040 Vienna, Austria




Kovacs, A., Honti, M., Zessner, M., Eder, A., Clement, A. and Blöschl, G.  2012.  Identification of phosphorus emission hotspots in agricultural catchments. Science of the Total Environment, 433, 74–88. 

Schilling, K., Bletterie, U., Kroiss, H. and Zessner, M. 2012.  Adapting the Austrian Edict on wastewater emissions for tanneries as consequence of foam formation on surface waters.  Environmental Science and Policy, 23, 68-73.

Schilling, K., Zessner, M. 2011. Foam in the aquatic environment. Water Research, 45, 4355-4366. 

Zessner, M, Kovacs, A., Schilling, C., Hochedinger, G., Gabriel, O., Matho, S., Thaler, S., Windhofer, G.  2011.  Enhancement of the MONERIS Model for application in Alpine Catchments in Austria.  International Review of Hydrobiology.  96, 541-560. 

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People › Faculty


Prof. Matthias Zessner





Prof. Zessner is an Associate Professor of Water Quality Management in the Institute of Water Quality, Resources and Waste Management. He teaches a number of courses on water management and supervises several doctoral students.

Teaching: Resource and river basin management, Water Quality and River Basin Management

Research Interests


• Water quality and river basin management including the assessment of the relationship between anthropogenic activities and instream water quality
• Nutrient loads and catchment nutrient balances
• Sampling accuracy
• Sanitary engineering
• Anthropogenic emissions
• Aquatic chemistry
• Wastewater infiltration
• Nitrification-denitrification

The main research interest of Matthias Zessner is the assessment of the relationship between anthropogenic activities, related emissions to the water cycle and instream effects on water quality as a basis for efficient management of water resources. Within this framework, recent research has focused on the assessment of nutrient fluxes at the catchment scale. Further expertise includes assessment of the effect of infiltrating treated wastewater on groundwater quality and the development of a methodology for assessing the cost-effectiveness of measures for foam abatement to resolve pollution conflicts in a transboundary river system.

Key Facts


Mattias Zessner obtained a University Doctorate Degree from the Vienna University of Technology in 1998 in water quality management. After a period as Assistant Professor he obtained a Habilitation in Water Quality Management in 2005 and has since been an Associate Professor at the Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Water Quality Resources and Waste Management.

Matthias Zessner has published 105 full papers which include 35 peer reviewed journal articles, 6 invited book chapters, and 64 papers in conference proceedings. He is member of the Management Committee of the International Water Association (IWA) Specialist Group on Watershed and River Basin Management. He was chair of the workshop on Management of Large River Basins at the IWA World Water Congress 2006 in Bejing. He was issue editor of the IWA Specialised Conference on Watershed and River Basin Management 2008 in Budapest. He is a referee for several international journals such as Journal of Environmental Management, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth and Water Science and Technology.

The main emphasis of his work at the Institute of Water Quality, Resources and Waste Management is in wastewater treatment and management in the context of river basin management, sewage sludge management and regional material balances with the main focus on nutrient management. He was part of a group that set up a first nitrogen balance for Austria in 1990. He was heavily involved into the scientific co-ordination of the project “Nutrient Balances for Danube Countries” in the frame of the PHARE environmental programme (EU/AR/102A/91). He updated the Austrian nutrient balance as a contribution to this project. Between 2001 and 2005 he was the scientific coordinator of the EU FP5 project “daNUbs” (“Nutrient management in the Danube Basin and its impact on the Black Sea (EVK1-CT-2000-00051) which was carried out from 2001 – 2005. Within this project he was leader of the Case study investigations (comprehensive regional nutrient balances).