Water scarcity is forcing us to face continuous and rapidly changing challenges. With climate change and a growing population, the demand for responses and solutions to these challenges is increasing. We have a long history of broad collaboration with local and international stakeholders, to enable access to newly developed science and engineering, as well as serve as a platform to identify research need. This improved communication enables research led projects by targeted demand, in which our world-class research leads to real-world impact.

The water related research activities in the School of Civil Engineering span across the campus. Our work is interdisciplinary and dedicated to developing innovative and applicative solutions. Examples are the Natural Flood Management group (working closely with hydrologists, and researchers from mathematics, Earth and Environment and Geography), WaSH and research around Solid Waste Management. The interdisciplinary work which these collaborations provide, enables us to continue to develop successful research strength in the school. 

Our research is broad and aims to advance understanding of the challenges in the UK as well as in other places, such as in the global south. The countries of origin of our researchers are versatile which is in itself an asset, and with this strong international research capacities enables us to influence many around the world. 

Research areas include:

  • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): water supply, sanitation, public health interventions, public health engineering
  • Public health and environmental engineering: the built environment, water treatment, solid waste, airborne transmission of disease, infrastructure
  • Water and waste management: Wastewater and Solid Waste Management (SWM), Fecal Sludge Management (FSM), sanitation engineering, public health engineering (again), water resource management, virtual water, resource recovery from waste
  • Flooding and risk prevention: water related risk, hydrodynamics, hydrology, rivers, floodplains, flood risk managamant, modelling, Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), flood risk mitigation.

Researchers in the School of Civil Engineering, who are conducting water related research, also belong to water@leeds. water@leeds collaborates with industry, governments, charities and academics in wide-ranging research and innovation initiatives, supported by world-class facilities.

water@leeds collaboration provides expert advice and analytical services with access to state of the art facilities through laboratories such as the Civil Engieering Public Health Laboratories, the Sorby Environmental Dynamics Laboratory, the Cohen Geochemistry Lab, the Wolfson Multiphase Flow Lab, and field equipment in the Institute of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences and the Schools Civil Engineering.

Our partnerships support research projects and studentships, include knowledge exchange, recruitment, consultancy and joint innovation. water@leeds seeks to turn expertise into a product, creating market leaders through research innovation. water@leeds brings together academics with expertise in water technologies, policy, basic science through applicable science in fields such as climate change science.  

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail, contact the theme lead: Professor Martin Tillotson, Chair in Water Management, Director of water@leeds or the deputy theme lead: Dr Miller Camargo-Valero.

We have opportunities for prospective PhD students including a number of studentships. Informal enquiries can be made to the deputy theme lead.