Dr Christian Berretta

Profile

BEng (Hons) and MSc Environmental Engineering, University of Genoa, Italy (2002)

Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering – Methods for environmental monitoring, University of Genoa, Italy (2006) - Assessment of stormwater runoff impact on receiving water bodies in densely urbanized areas

Dr Christian Berretta is a water@leeds Academic Research Fellow in the School of Civil Engineering. His research focuses on Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and his expertise is in urban hydrology and stormwater management through Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) or nature-based solutions to control flooding, point source (CSOs) and diffuse pollution. His current research interests include hydrological processes and contaminant removal mechanisms in green infrastructures and sustainable water and stormwater management in urban areas in developing countries.

Prior to joining the University of Leeds in 2014, he was a Marie Curie Experienced Researcher and Pennine Water Group Research Fellow at The University of Sheffield, in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering and Department of Landscape, a Research Associate at the University of Florida, Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Genoa (Italy), Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering.

  • 2014 onwards: Academic Research Fellow - University of Leeds, School of Civil Engineering, water@leeds 2006-2007
  • 2013: Pennine Water Group Research Fellow - The University of Sheffield, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
  • 2011-2013: Marie Curie Experienced Researcher - The University of Sheffield, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering and Department of Landscape
  • 2007-2011: Postdoctoral Research Associate - University of Florida, Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences
  • 2006-2007: Postdoctoral Research Fellow - University of Genoa (Italy) - Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering

He has been recently involved in the following research projects:

  • Controlling diffuse pollution in urban areas using biofiltration systems (White Rose Consortium & Sustainability Service of the University of Leeds, 2015-2018, £23.5k, PI)
  • Hydrological and environmental processes in railways: towards sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) approaches (Network Rail & School of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Leeds, 2018-2019, £40k + £50k, PI)
  • Improved Earthworks Drainage for Safer Reliable Railways (Network Rail & EPSRC, 2017-2020, £42k + £42k, Co-PI)
  • Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (Yorkshire iCASP) (NERC, 2017-2021, £4,700k, Co-I)
  • Resilience of linear infrastructure in East Africa (Royal Academy of Engineering, Frontiers of Engineering for Development, 2016-2017, £20k, collaborator)
  • Microbial pollution in water sources under extreme weather conditions: modelling sediment-pathogen interactions – Case studies: Brazil, Colombia, Mexico (White Rose Consortium, 2017-2018, £11k, Co-I)
  • Investigating Biological, Physical and Hydrological Processes in Green Infrastructures for Sustainable Stormwater Management in Urban Areas (Leeds School of Civil Engineering Seedcorn Funding Scheme, 2014-2015, £6k, PI)

Prior to joining the University of Leeds, he developed his research activity through the following projects:

  • Winning Application of nanoTEchnology for Resolutive hydropurification (WATER) - Funder: EU FP7 Coordination and Support actions
  • Green Roof Systems- Collaborative research and development of green roof systems technologies - Funder: EU FP7 Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP)
  • Quantifying pollutant loads associated with deposited urban water Particulate Matter (PM), and biogenic/litter recovery through current MS4 source control and maintenance practices - Funder: Florida Stormwater Association (FSA) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)
  • Statewide airport stormwater study - FAA-type pond pilot study - Funder: Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
  • Management of source area runoff using in-situ controls - Funder: Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)
  • Enhanced and Sustainable TReatment for Urban Stormwater (ESTRUS) – Funder: European Commission - Life-Environment Projects Funds
  • Pollution control in coastal waters due to storm water runoff from urban, production sites and infrastructures external areas – Funder: CARIGE Organization
  • First flush flows characterization in port and airport areas - Funder: European Union Objective 2 Structural Fund
  • Stormwater runoff quality from impervious areas of production sites - Funder: The City of Genoa
  • First flush flows monitoring and hydrological modelling for the evaluation of technical treatment solutions - Funder: CARIGE Organization
  • Integrated Multi-Objective System for optimal management of urban drainage (IMOS) - Funder: European Commission - Life-Environment Projects Funds

Christian is a member of EUROCITIES Water Working Group and Leeds' member of the EU Urban Water Agenda 2030 (UWA2030) core group.

He was an invited speaker at the panel discussion on Science-Policy dialogue of the European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA) General Assembly 2017 on "Climate Change and Vulnerable Regions", 7-8 March 2017 Brussels.

 

Research interests

  • hydrological and pollutant removal processes in nature-based solutions
  • soil-vegetation behaviour in time in nature-based solutions/SuDS that influence the long-term performance
  • the use of engineered media in SuDS for enhanced performance
  • railway drainage systems and the influence on earthwork performance
  • the distribution, speciation and transport of diffuse urban pollutants and their fate within nature-based solutions.
  • sustainable solutions for water and stormwater management in low to middle income countries
  • pluvial flood models at city scale in rapidly developing cities
  • drainage - solid waste - sanitation interactions in urban areas in developing countries

Currently supervising the following PhD projects:

  • City scale modelling of factors affecting urban pluvial flood risks in rapidly developing cities (2017-2020)
  • Improved earthworks drainage for safer reliable railways (2017-2020)
  • Hydrological and environmental processes in railways: towards sustainable drainage system (SuDS) approaches (2016 -2019)
  • Biofiltration systems for optimized stormwater management in urban areas (2015-2019)

Professional memberships

  • Member of the International Water Association (IWA)

Research groups and institutes

  • Cities and Infrastructure
  • Energy and Sustainable Buildings
  • Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering

Publications:

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