Dr Miller Alonso Camargo-Valero


Dr Miller Alonso Camargo Valero is a water@leeds Lecturer in Water and Environmental Engineering. 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 the government and private sector. 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 waste 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); and 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 (School of Civil Engineering at Leeds; 2011- present). Dr Camargo-Valero is a Visiting Professor at the Department of  Chemical Engineering, Univesidad Nacional de Colombia, Manizales.

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:

  • Alternative technologies for sustainable Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) treatment in Turkey: A case of study in the Province of Karabuk.  PI: Dr N. Aydin (Karabuk University, Turkey); Co-Is: Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero and Dr C. Velis.  Funder: Researcher Links Travel Grants – The British Council (£2k) (2016-2017).
  • Microbial pollution in water sources under extreme weather conditions: modelling sediment-pathogen interactions (2017). PI: Dr Isabel Douterelo (University of Sheffield); Co-Is: Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero, Dr C. Berretta and Dr M. Trigg (University of Leeds) and other research partners from University of York and University of Sheffield. Funder: The White Rose University Consortium - Collaboration Fund (£11k).
  • ILCERRA: Integrated Low Carbon Energy solutions for Remote Rural Areas. PI: Dr V. DuPont (Universty of Leeds), Co-Is: Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero et al. Funder: EPSRC’s Global Challenges Pump-priming Funding – University of Leeds (£60k) (2016-2017). 
  • C-CUS:  Climate, Costs and Urban Sanitation (2016-2019).  PI:  Prof 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, Prof P. William (University of Leeds); Mr M. Bailey and A. Gadd (Link2Energy)
  • Optimising phosphate recovery from wastewater using photosynthetic aquatic organisms (Lemna). (2013 – 2017). Principal Investigator (PI): Prof A. Baker, Co-Investigator (Co-I):  Dr M. A. Camargo-Valero.  Funder: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK (BBSRC) and Carbogen Ltd (£100K)

Research projects recently completed:

  • VeSV-Bangladesh: Value at the end of the sanitation value-chain in Bangladesh (2013 – 2015).  PI: Mrs Barbara 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.


  • 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)
  • Member of water@leeds' Strategy Group - International Brand and Quality Strategy Champion (2014 – present)
  • Senior Researcher, National Registry of Researchers in Colombia, Colciencias (2014-present)
  • Associate Editor of the Journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, USA (2015-present)
  • Chartered Chemical Engineer, Colombian Professional Council of Chemical Engineering
  • Associate Member of the Institute of Chemical Engineering (AMIChemE)
  • water@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: (a) MSc in Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering; (b) MSc in Environmental Engineering and Project Management; (c) MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems and (d) BEng and MEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Research groups and institutes

  • Waste Management and Resource Recovery
  • Institute for Public Health and Environmental Engineering