Sheng Chang

Headshot of Sheng Chang
Associate Professor
School of Engineering
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ext. 56619
THRN 2519
Available positions for grads/undergrads/postdoctoral fellows: 
Enquire by email


Biochemical methane potential characterization and analysis; Pilot-scale anaerobic digestion; Wastewater and sludge characterization; Characterization of sludge dewatering ability; Development of advanced wastewater treatment/reuse technologies; Development of advanced anaerobic digestion technologies; Membrane filtration enhancement and fouling control.

Education and Employment Background

Dr. Sheng Chang received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia, in 2001. He went on to work as a Research Associate at the Center for Water and Wastes Technology, UNSW (2001–2002), as an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the UNESCO Center for Membrane Science and Technology, UNSW (2003–2005), and as a Research Engineer at GE Water and Process Technologies (2006–2009). Chang joined the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph in 2010 where he is now a full professor.

Research Themes

Chang’s research is focused on anaerobic digestion for energy recovery, sludge dewaterability characterization and enhancement, emerging contaminants characterization and treatment, and wastewater treatment and reuse. Key areas of focus include:

  1. Development of disruptive anaerobic digestion technology. Anaerobic digestion technology can convert organic waste into useable methane gas; thus, it is important for energy and resource recovery from wastewater sludge and food waste. Chang investigates the enhancement of biogas production of anaerobic digestion by integrated biological hydrolysis-anaerobic digestion, thermal hydrolysis-anaerobic digestion, organic waste-sludge co-digestion, and advanced reactor design. 
  2. Membrane-centered wastewater treatment and reuse technology:   Membrane-centered technologies can achieve effective removal of organic content, nutrient, and emerging contaminants from wastewater and has strong potential for water reuse and resource recovery.  Chang explores the integration of membrane filtration technologies with biological and physico-chemical processes to achieve water reclamation, resource recovery, emerging contaminants removal, and energy-neutral wastewater treatment.
  3. Characterization and enhancement of sludge dewaterability:  Sludge dewatering has significant impact on the energy consumption and cost of biosolids management.  Chang explores the dewatering characteristics of sludge, impact of extracellular polymeric substances on sludge dewaterability, and methods to enhance sludge dewaterability.
  4. Fate of microplastics and contaminants of concern in wastewater treatment plants: Wastewater treatment is moving towards the mixing of different sources of nutrient rich products (organics, food waste) known as Source Separated Organics (SSO) to generate energy (biogas) and nutrient recovery (nitrogen and phosphorous). Unfortunately, many of these SSO and sludge could be sources of plastics (micro or nano) from industry and contaminants of concern. Chang explores the methods to characterize microplastics and COC in different types of “feeds” (SSO) and streams of wastewater treatment plants.


  • Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Ontario Research Fund, Research Excellent: Develop disruptive anaerobic technology for waste diversion and resource recovery, 2019-2023.
  • Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks, Innovative digestion for nutrient recovery and reduction of COC and microplastics at Ontario WWTPs, 2020-2022.
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Discovery Grant, Development of advanced anaerobic digestion technology for the energy recovery and emission reduction, 2016-2021. 
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), CRD Grant, Understanding and optimization of the plug-flow enzymatic hydrolysis process for sludge anaerobic digestion performance enhancement, 2016-2018.
  • Ontario Water Consortium, Valuation and full-scale demonstration of the biological hydrolysis anaerobic digestion (BH-AD) and ZeeLung MABR technologies for energy neutral wastewater treatment, 2015 -2018.

Media Coverage

Wastewater treatment