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 water industry to tackle greenhouse emissions, nutrient control/recovery and renewable energy generation (Lecturer at Leeds; 2011- 2018); 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) and has active research activities with parners in Colombia, Brazil, Uganda, India, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Australia and Indonesia.

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 control and 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:

  • GCRF Water Hub: Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub. Principal Investigator (PI) Professor R Dawson (Newcastle University); University of Leeds PI: Dr M A Camargo-Valero. Co-Investigators (Co-Is) from Newcastle University, University of Leeds and University of Oxford.  Research Partners from Colombia, Ethiopia, Malaysia, India. Funder: ESRC (ES/S008179/1), £20M (UoL £2.0M).
  • BEFWAM:  Bioenergy, Fertiliser and Clean Water from Invasive Aquatic Macrophytes. PI Dr A Ross; Co-Is: Dr M A Camargo-Valero, Dr L Fletcher, et al. Research partners from India and Uganda. Funder: BBSRC (BB/S011439/1), £1.7M (2019-2022)
  • SuSanSe: Sustainable Sanitation Services. Improving Community Wellbeing through Nutrient and Energy Recovery from Waste. PI Dr A Yulistyorini (Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia); (Co-I): Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero. Funder: Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education, Republic of Indonesia (2018-2020)
  • RePhoKUs: The role of phosphorus in the resilience and sustainability of the UK food system. PI Dr J. Martin-Ortega, (University of Leeds); 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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