Hiroyasu Satoh / Associate Professor / Division of Environmental Studies
Department of Socio-cultural Environmental Studies / / Sewage Treatment Technologies and Its Related Microbial Ecology

Career Summary

1989: Bachelor of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

1991: Master of Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
1993: Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

1996: Doctor of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

1997: Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

1998: Associate Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

1999-: Associate Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo

2002-04: Associate Professor, Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand)

Educational Activities

Graduate school:Water and Wastewater Treatment for Material Recycling, Special Studies on Urban Water Environment
Undergraduate: Applied Hydraulics

Research Activities

Treatment of sewage is essential to sustain favorable environment in urban systems. Yet, we still do not know what is exactly happening in sewage treatment plants. Sewage treatment largely depends on microorganisms: we know that some of microorganisms there are very helpful for us, while others rather deteriorate performances of wastewater treatment. Yet, we still do not know very well how these microorganisms co-exist in the same place. We also do not know the exact way to unleash the power of helpful microorganisms. Further, on the earth, we still do not know what kind of microorganisms are there. Microbial ecosystems in sewage treatment plants are thus very interesting target of science. My research group is working on following topics. (1) Development and evaluation of microbiological methods for the analysis of complex microbial system in wastewater treatment plants. (2) Investigations on unknown factors that affects the composition of microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants. In our recent study, we are elucidating the impact of bacteriophages. And, as a more practical work, (3) we are working on the ecology of polyphosphate accumulating microorganisms, which take the role of phosphorus removal from sewage.


1) Ichihashi, O., Satoh, H., Mino, T. (2006). Effect of soluble microbial products on microbial metabolisms related to nutrient removal. Wat Res, 40, 1627-1633.
2) Michinaka, T., Arou, J., Onuki, M., Satoh, H., Mino, T.(2006) Analysis of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase gene in activated sludge that produces PHA containing 3-hydroxy-2-methylvalerate. Biotechnol Bioeng. (printing)
3) Otawa, K., Lee, S.H., Yamazoe, A., Onuki, M., Satoh, H., Mino, T. (2006) Abundance, Diversity, and Dynamics of Viruses on Microorganisms in Activated Sludge Processes. Microb Ecol (printing)
4) Lee, S.H., Onuki, M., Satoh, H., and Mino, T. (2006) Isolation, characterization of bacteriophages specific to Microlunatus phosphovorus and their application for the rapid host detection. Lett Appl Microbiol, 42, 259-264.

Other Activities

Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE)
Japan Society on Water Environment (JSWE)
The Japanese Society of Microbial Ecology (JSME)
International Water Association (IWA)
Japan Sewage Works Association (JSWA)

Future Plan

While working on the very basic aspects of sewage treatment, I want to work on sewage-related issues from a totally different aspect. In Japan, sewer systems were introduced only in the last several decades. I think it is now worth to review these systems.

Messages to Students

Make haste slowly. To solve environmental problems, we need to know more about our relationship with the environment.