Student in lab

The relationships between the built infrastructure and human health are at the heart of the work in our health theme. 

Our research considers exposures to pollutants and infectious microorganisms in air, waste, land and water and we have experience in urban and rural environments in both developed and developing countries. We conduct experimental and computational studies to understand sources and exposure routes, and how the infrastructure we design, build and operate influences risks.

We are interested in technical solutions and how these interface with human, economic, social and political systems. Much of our work is very inter-disciplinary, bringing together the engineering aspects with societal and economic factors.

Research areas include:

  • Water, sanitation and hygiene: institutional, social, economic and technical dimensions relating to the achievement of SDG6 on water
  • Airborne infection: engineering interventions to manage risk of disease transmission and ill health from airborne infection
  • Solid waste management: institutional and policy responses to the global crisis in solid waste management
  • Contaminated land and groundwater: the safe management of contaminated land including safe reuse of human waste in agriculture, safe management of industrial wastes and contaminated land
  • Urban air pollution and transport: health impacts of improved transport and traffic management.

Collaborations and partnerships

The health team is embedded in the University of Leeds transdisciplinary tradition which spans engineering, earth and environment, policy and international studies and the institute of health sciences. The overarching management of the theme is located in the Leeds Centre for Global Development, which provides a platform bringing together transdisciplinary researchers.  

Outside the University we work closely with industry, local and national governments in the EU as well as with a wider range of international partners including the World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID), UNICEF, the United Nations Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation, WaterAid, and a wide number of collaborators in Africa, Latin America and South Asia.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail, contact the theme lead: Professor Barbara Evans 

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