Dr Miller Alonso Camargo-Valero

Profile

Dr Miller Alonso Camargo Valero is a water@leeds Associate Professor of BioResource Systems. His early career as an academic at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota (Assistant Professor, 1997-2010) enabled him to develop a deep knowledge in water and wastewater engineering by undertaking both research and teaching activities, and working there as an environmental engineering consultant in multi-disciplinary projects and contracts to public and private sectors. In Colombia (1997-2004), he dedicated his research work to study the formation and control of disinfection by-products in water supply systems and the performance of wastewater stabilisation pond systems at high altitute in the tropics. 

In the UK (2004 - present), Miller Alonso's research work has been dedicated to study nitrogen transformation pathways and removal mechanisms both in wastewater treatment systems (PhD at Leeds, 2004-2008) and in natural environments (Postdoctoral position at Queen Mary, University of London; 2008-2009); airborne pathogen transport and control in indoor environments (Postdoctoral position at the University of Leeds; 2009-2011); to develop alga-based technologies to retrofit existing assets in the UK water industry to tackle greenhouse emissions, nutrient control/recovery and renewable energy generation (Lecturer at Leeds; 2011- present); and the optimisation of the water, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles within processes aimed at dealing with waste streams through resource recovery routes (Associate Professor at Leeds, 2018-present). Dr Camargo-Valero is a Visiting Professor at the Department of  Chemical Engineering, Univesidad Nacional de Colombia, Manizales (Colombia).

Responsibilities

  • Associate Director, water@leeds
  • International Lead, School of Civil Engineering
  • Leader - BioResource Systems Research Group

Research interests

Miller Alonso's current research interests are in the field of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries and Resource Recovery from Low-grade waste streams.  That includes the following research areas: (a) natural wastewater treatment systems, (b) wastewater reuse in agriculture, (c) nutrient recovery from wastewater and excreta, (d) renewable energy generation and high-value chemical production from anaerobic digestion and fermentation of organic waste and (e) algal biomass cultivation.

Current research projects:

  • RePhoKUs: The role of phosphorus in the resilience and sustainability of the UK food system. Principal Investigator (PI) Dr J. Martin-Ortega, (University of Leeds); Co-Investigator (Co-I):   Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero. Funder: BBSRC (BB/R005656/1), £563k (2018-2021)
  • NWaste2H2: Hydrogen production by reforming bio-methane with nitrogen rich waste streams. PI: Dr V. Dupont (University of Leeds); Co-Is:  Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero and Professor T. Cockerill. Funder: EPSRC (EP/R00076X/1), £200K.
  • CACTUS:  Climate, Costs and Urban Sanitation (2016-2019).  PI:  Professor B. Evans (University of Leeds); Co-Is:   Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero and Dr G. Locatelli. Funder: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (£700k).
  • Hy-PAlgae: Regulation of polyphosphate metabolism in Chlamydomonas and potential for exploitation as P phosphorus sink in nutrient recovery systems (2016-2019). PI: Prof Alison Baker; Co-I: Dr M A Camargo-Valero; Associate Partner: Prof Alison Smith (Cambridge).  Funder: BBSRC (£554K).
  • C-VORR: Complex Value Optimisation for Resource Recovery from Waste (2014-2017).  PI: Prof P. Purnell, Co-Is: Dr M.A. Camargo-Valero et al.; Funder: NERC/ESRC (£1.2M), as part of their Resource Recovery from Waste Programme: Challenges for the health environment
  • NPK: Nutrient Platform UK. (2014-present).  Dr M.A. Camargo-Valero, Dr A. B. Ross, Professor P. William (University of Leeds); Mr M. Bailey and A. Gadd (Link2Energy)

Research projects recently completed:

  • VeSV-Bangladesh: Value at the end of the sanitation value-chain in Bangladesh (2013 – 2015).  PI: Profesor B Evans, Co-Is:  Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero, Dr L. A. Fletcher, et al. Research Partners: IWMI, BUET, NGOForum. Funder: International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee (BRAC) (€324K)
  • Bio-Refine: Recycling Inorganic Chemicals from Agro- and Bio-Industry Wastestreams (2011 – 2015).  PI: Prof E. Meers (Ghent University), Co-Is: Dr A. B. Ross, Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero, Prof P. Williams, et al. Funder: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (€2.7M)

PhD opportunities:

Miller Alonso is interested in supervising PhD students in the following broad areas:(a) Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries, (b) Resource recovery from waste, and (c) Algal Bio-engineering.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Public Health Engineering. School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds (2009)
  • MSc(Eng) in Environmental Engineering. National University of Colombia, Bogotá (1998)
  • BEng (Hons) – Chemical Engineering. National University of Colombia, Bogotá (1996)

Professional memberships

  • Chair of the IWA Specialist Group on Wastewater Pond Technology (from Jan 2017)
  • Member of the Water Quality and Health Technical Advisory Group (WQTAG), WHO, Geneva (2015-present)
  • Senior Researcher, National Registry of Researchers in Colombia, Colciencias (2014-present)
  • Chartered Chemical Engineer, Colombian Professional Council of Chemical Engineering
  • Associate Member of the Institute of Chemical Engineering (AMIChemE)
  • University of Leeds delegate to the UK Wastewater Network (2014-present)
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Chemical Chemical Engineering, National University of Colombia, Manizales

Student education

Dr Camargo-Valero has teaching duties in the following taught academic programmes:

Research groups and institutes

  • Waste Management and Resource Recovery
  • Energy and Sustainable Buildings
  • Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering

Publications:

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