Professor Mark van Loosdrecht was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2012 for his breakthrough contributions in used water treatment, with his completely autotrophic nitrogen removal process - Anammox. The Anammox process has greatly reduced the overall energy consumption, chemical usage and carbon emissions of a conventional used water treatment plant. This was made possible by the discovery of a unique group of bacteria that removes pollutants in used water using less oxygen and no added organic carbon compared to conventional processes. By pioneering an innovative biological process that serves as a cost-effective, robust and sustainable way of removing pollutants in used water, Prof van Loosdrecht has introduced a paradigm shift in the understanding of the used water treatment process. His ground-breaking work in marrying nature and engineering has formed the basis for many variants in use today and this technology is seeing increasing adoption worldwide.