Andreas Fath

From Openwaterpedia
Professor Dr. Andreas Fath is nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year for recognition of his extraordinarily difficult swim at the 1,231 km Rheines Wasser stage swim

Professor Dr. Andreas Fath (born in Speyer am Rhein in 1965, known as The Swimming Professor) is a German open water swimmer and a professor in the Faculty of Medical and Life Sciences at Furtwangen University since 2011. He received his chemistry degree at the University of Heidelberg. He completed an assisted Swim for science, a 1,231 km stage swim in the Rhine river. Throughout his stage swim, he collected samples for analysis using a microplastic membrane attached to his leg. He finished second overall in the 10-mile Swim The Suck marathon swim in Tennessee.

World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nomination

Fath's 1,231 km Rheines Wasser stage swim is nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

Teaching and Research Fields

  • Physical and Analytical Chemistry
  • Anorganic chemistry
  • Surface technology
  • Materials development
  • Chemical process engineering
  • Environmental engineering

Professional Career

Professor Fath has taught at the University of Heidelberg, was the editor of the trade journal "Eurocosmetics", and worked at the Institute for Microstructure Technology at the Research Centre in Karlsruhe. Here he was mainly involved in the development of new materials for the manufacture of microelements made of metal and high performance plastics. From 2000 to 2011 he worked for Hansgrohe where he was responsible for chemical developments in applied surface technologies.

Andreas Fath owns various patents, one of which is for the electrochemical breakdown of per and polyfluorinated tensides. For this research he was awarded the Umsicht (Environmental Safety and Energy Technology) Prize by the Fraunhofer Institute.

Swim for science

On 24 August 2014 he swam into the North Sea at Hook of Holland and successfully completed the final stage of his “Swim for science” (Rheines Wasser) which began on 28 July 2014 in the Graubünden Alps. His 1,231 km Rhine swim was completed in 28 days while Professor Fath and his team also took water samples along the 1,231 kilometers of the Rhine.

He swam the assisted stage swim from Lake Toma in Switzerland to the estuary in the North Sea at Hook of Holland. Where swimming in his wetsuit was not possible, he traversed the course by mountain bike or by kayak.

Swim for science Analyses

Together with students from Furtwangen University and partners from industry and scientific institutes, he put the Rhine to the test with some unique methods and instruments including a chip that can detect up to 150 micro-organisms, such as pathogens or bio indicators, at the same time. He also collected samples of all the organic materials which he came into contact with in the Rhine by means of a special plastic membrane attached to his calves.

The aim of the Swim for science was to raise awareness for the importance of water as a resource and to develop effective methods of protection. The research results were presented at the 7th Annual Hansgrohe Water Symposium on 13 November 2014.

Together with his team of Furtwangen University students, partners and research institutes, Fath analyzed the water of the Rhine by a variety of scientific questions. The water samples taken during the swim every day were tested for industrial chemicals, hormones, antidepressants, sweeteners, antibiotics, painkillers, drugs, pathogens and microplastics. The project team measured the Rhine's current speed, pH values, conductivity and the water temperature.


The ‘Swimming Professor’ earned his nickname following his 1,231 km sponsored swim along the River Rhine, which raised awareness of the need for his research, and attracted sponsorship to buy new water analysis equipment for the University of Furtwangen.


Rheines Wasser Video


  • Etappe 1: Lake Toma – Ilanz
  • Etappe 2: Ilanz – Chur
  • Etappe 3: Chur – Sargans
  • Etappe 4: Sargans – St. Margrethen
  • Etappe 5: St. Margrethen – Constance
  • Etappe 6: Constance – Stein am Rhein
  • Etappe 7: Stein am Rhein – Eglisau
  • Etappe 8: Eglisau – Bad Säckingen
  • Etappe 9: Bad Säckingen – Basel
  • Etappe 10: Basel – Breisach
  • Etappe 11: Breisach – Kehl
  • Etappe 12: Kehl – Karlsruhe
  • Etappe 13: Karlsruhe – Mannheim
  • Etappe 14: Mannheim – Mainz
  • Etappe 15: Mainz – St. Goar
  • Etappe 16: St. Goar – Koblenz
  • Etappe 17: Koblenz – Bonn
  • Etappe 18: Bonn – Köln
  • Etappe 19: Köln – Düsseldorf
  • Etappe 20: Düsseldorf – Götterswickerhamm
  • Etappe 21: Götterswickerhamm – Emmerich
  • Etappe 22: Emmerich – Wageningen
  • Etappe 23: Wageningen – Vreeswijk
  • Etappe 24: Vreeswijk – Rotterdam
  • Etappe 25: Rotterdam – Hoek van Holland

2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominee

Professor Fath is nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association along with the following nominees{

1. Andreas Fath (Germany) Swim for Science
2. Andrea Fazio (Italy) Like Father, Like Son
3. Christian Reichert (Germany) FINA World Cup Champion
4. Dan Projansky (U.S.A.) Butterflying Marathoner
5. Jim Clifford (U.S.A.) Oldest Triple Crowner
6. Fast and Frozen by Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), Anna Carin-Nordin (Sweden), Patrick Corcoran (Ireland), Zdeněk Thalmika (Czech Republic), Elina Makïnen (Finland) Two-way North Channel Relay
7. Ganga Avahan by by Paramvir Singh, Gullupilli Narahari, Saripilli Srihari (India) Stage Swimmers
8. Jordan Wilimovsky (U.S.A.) Olympian & World Champion
9. Kelly Gneiting (U.S.A.) Sumo Swimmer
10. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand) Farallon Freestyler
11. Matthew Moseley (U.S.A.) Trifecta Lake-Ocean-River Swimmer
12. Mike Arbuthnot (South Africa) Midmar Mile Founder
13. Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia) Camel Swim
14. Night Train Swimmers by Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kimberley Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne, Vito Bialla (U.S.A./New Zealand) NT300 Relay
15. Oceans Seven Relay by Rick Gaenzle, Chris Kraus, Brian Ross (U.S.A.) Triumphant Trio
16. Susan Simmons (Canada) Swimming with Multiple Sclerosis
17. Swim The Eden Expedition by Calum Hudson, Jack Hudson, Robbie Hudson (Great Britain) Brotherly Wild Swim
18. Team Nadadores Locos by Amy Appelhans Gubser, Kirk McKinney, Les Mangold, John Sims, Jeff Everett, Andrew McLaughlin (U.S.A.) Two-way Farallon Islands Relay
19. The Old Men And The Sea Relay by Don Baker, Dr. Bill Spore, Dave Radcliffe, Graham Johnston, Bob Best, Bob Beach, Norm Stupfel (U.S.A.) Catalina Cruisers
20. The Deep Enders by Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Zach Jirkovsky, Tamie Stewart, Stacey Warmuth (U.S.A.) San Nicholas Channelers
21. Theodore Yach (South Africa) Robben Island Swimmer
22. Trent Theroux (U.S.A.) Comeback Circumnavigation
23. Wendy Trehiou (Jersey) Saint Malo to Jersey

2015 WOWSA Award Nomination

Professor Fath's 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year nomination reads as follows:

Andreas Fath (Germany) Swim for Science (Rheines Wasser)
Professor Dr. Andreas Fath took 25 stages and 28 days to swim 1,231 km (765 miles) in a stage swim along the length of the Rhine River from Lake Toma in the Graubünden Alps of Switzerland to the North Sea estuary in Hook of the Netherlands. The Swimming Professor from Furtwangen University dealt with heavy rains, strong currents and changing weather conditions while conducting research and testing with an European team of scientific collaborators. The Professor not only swam the mighty Rhine, but he also stayed true to his calling as a teaching professor, research scientist and accomplished inventor. The Professor of Physical and Analytical Chemistry who specializes in Ecological Engineering tested the micro-plastics pollution in the Rhine in a search for removing these substances with a unique chip and membrane attached to his leg. For his Rheines Wasser (Swim for Science) that combined athletics, navigation, logistics and science, for leading a scientific and logistics team from across Europe, and for testing the water for industrial chemicals, hormones, antidepressants, sweeteners, antibiotics, painkillers, drugs, pathogens and micro-plastics, Professor Dr. Andreas Fath's Rheines Wasser is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

External links