Academic & Professional Qualifications
• BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering
• MSc Hydraulics & Water Resources Engineering
• MSc Environmental Science & Technology
• PhD Environmental Engineering
• Member, The Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management, MCIWEM
• Chartered Engineer, CEng
• Fellow, The Higher Education Academy, FHEA
Director, Postgraduate Environment Education (Environmental Engineering), leading the development and delivery of taught postgraduate programmes, short courses and training in the subject area.
Director, Urban Water Technology Centre (https://www.abertay.ac.uk/business/facilities-and-services/uwtc/)
My research explores the characteristics of the complex microbial community associated with the control of environmental pollutants. The aim, essentially, is to develop and improve the technology for treating (and extracting useful products such as organic fertiliser, biogas and freshwater from) industrial and municipal wastes and wastewaters. My research in anaerobic digestion processes encourages regular consultations by public and private sector organisations trying to find solutions to organic waste issues. My current research areas include treatment of industrial and hospital wastewaters, small scale and decentralised wastewater treatment systems (e.g. package plants and constructed wetland systems), surface water quality management, remediation of oil contaminated land, landfill decay modelling and restoration of landfill sites, and waste and sanitation in developing countries.
• Undergraduate courses (Civil Engineering and Environmental Management)
Fluid mechanics and hydraulics, water and wastewater engineering, sewerage design, water supply and treatment, wastewater treatment, solid waste treatment and management, air pollution control.
• Postgraduate and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes
Wastewater treatment, sewage sludge management, solid waste management, landfill technology, contaminated land remediation, water quality management, sanitation and waste management in developing countries. These programmes have strong industrial links and the MSc course is accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), the pre-eminent professional institution of the sector.
My research interest lies in the area of environmental technology, specialising in engineering application of biological, physical and chemical processes for the control and abatement of environmental pollutants, and in the production of bio-energy. My research aims at developing new (and improve existing) technologies for harnessing beneficial products from waste materials (e.g. organic fertiliser and bio-energy production organic residues) and for solving common environmental problems i.e., treatment of sewage, municipal and industrial waste, water treatment.
My special focus is on the identification, characterisation, manipulation and modelling of microbial interactions associated with the biodegradation of carbonaceous and nitrogenous compounds, leading to the optimisation and/or development of pollution abatement technologies.
Specific applications of my research address the following themes:
Current PhD and Postdoctoral research projects:
Selected current and past projects
• Applying drinking water treatment sludges to land: opportunities and implications . Funded by the Scottish Government (Scotland's Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW)).
• Effectiveness of construction mitigation measures to avoid or minimise impact to groundwater dependent wetlands and to peat hydrology. Project on behalf of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). [2020-2021]. Funded by the Scottish Government (Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW)).
• A review of investment decisions at small drinking water supply systems with declining water quality issues. Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) [2017-2019].
• Support for Enhancement of the "Integrated Water Resource Management - Southern Malawi" Project. Project on behalf of the Scottish Government. [2017-2018]. Funded by the Scottish Government (Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW)).
• Investigate the causes (and methods) of CO emissions production (and reduction) from a municipal waste incineration plant . Funded by Dundee Energy Recycling Ltd (DERL), Dundee City Council.
• A review of investment decisions at small drinking water supply systems with declining water quality issues [2017-date]. Funded by the Scottish Government (Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW)).
• An independent evaluation of the "Integrated Water Resource Management - Southern Malawi" project on behalf of the Scottish Government [2016-date]. Funded by the Scottish Government (Scotland's Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW)).
• Innovative solutions for sustainable drinking water treatment at small to medium scales . Funded by the Scottish Government (Scotland's Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW)).
• Practical measures for reducing pollutant load from septic tanks . Funded by the Scottish Government (Scotland's Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW)).
• Validation of a filtering system for starch [2014-2016]. Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project, Technology Strategy Board) and Ivan Wood & Sons Ltd.
• European Commission Grant: Director General Enterprise & Industry 326/PP/ENT/IMA/13/1112413 - Study to support the evaluation of the use of phosphates in Consumer Automatic Dishwasher Detergents (CADD). [2014-2015] Leading organisation: Bio Intelligent Service, Paris, France.
• Evaluation of methane yields from co-digestion of food and farm residues [2010-date]. Funded by various private and public sector organisations.
• Scottish Biofuel Project [2012-2015] European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Project involving a consortium made up of Edinburgh Napier University, University of Abertay Dundee, University of Edinburgh, Scottish Agricultural College, and The Scottish Association of Marine Sciences (University of the Highlands and Islands), Oban.
• Clean technologies for management of organic residuals [2012-2014]. Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with Diageo Plc.
• Seaweed Anaerobic Digestion [2009-2010]. Funded by UK Government (ITI Energy).
• Dundee Riverside Landfill decay modelling [2006 – 2011]. Funded by Dundee City Council.
• Investigating the hydrolytic effects of microbial enzymes in improving sludge and solid waste digestion [2006 – 2007]. Funded by Scottish Government (SCORE Programme).
• Development of high-solids municipal waste digestion system and investigation of the soil enhancing properties of the digestate. [2002-2008]. Collaboration with The James Hutton Institute, Dundee and supported by Dundee City Council.
• Development of GRAnular Bed Baffled Reactor (GRABBR) [1998-2008]. GRABBR is an anaerobic wastewater treatment system. Pilot trials were funded by Tennents Caledonian Welpark Brewery in Glasgow.
• Development of small wastewater treatment systems (1996-1998). Funded by Balmoral Group, Aberdeen.
• Expert reviewer of research funding applications for national and non-profit organisations in the UK and some countries in the Europe, Asia, and Middle East.
• Reviewer for many scientific journals
• Editorial Board member, Heliyon (Elsevier’s open access journal) (2015-2018).
• Expert reviewer of research funding applications for various organisations in the UK and overseas.
• Member, The Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM) Course Accreditation Panel, UK (2001-2006).
• Scientific Committee member, International Conference on Solid Waste Technology & Management, Philadelphia, PA, USA (www.solid-waste.org) (2014-date).
• Member, CIWEM Joint Examinations Board, UK (2000-2006).
• External Programme Assessor, BSc (Hons) Environmental Management & Planning, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK (2007-2012).
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK ( 2006, 2014, 2015, 2017).
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK (2009)
• External Examination, MPhil Thesis, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK (2014)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK (2014, 2017)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK (2015, 2022)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK (2015, 2019)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, University of South Wales, Pontypridd (2016)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK (2016)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, University of Coventry, Coventry, UK (2017)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK (2017)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, Dublin City University, Ireland (2019)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, Visvesvaraya Technological University, Karnataka State, India (2020)
• External Examination, PhD Thesis, Indian Insitute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, West Bengal, India (2022)
• Visiting Professor, Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs des Travaux de la Construction, Paris [ESITC Paris], France (2006- date).
• Membre, Conseil Scientifique (Scientific Advisory Panel member), ESITC Paris, France (2009–date).
• Honorary Tutor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK (2009-2010).
• External Programme Validation Panel Member, Postgraduate Environment Programmes (comprising MSc in Energy and Environmental Management, MSc in Carbon and Water Management and Urban Environmental Management), University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK 4th May 2011.
• External Examiner, Suite of Postgraduate Environment Programmes, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK (2011- 2016).
• External Examiner, MSc in Water, Waste and Environmental Engineering, University of Greenwich, Kent, UK (2016-2021).
• External Examiner, MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering; MSc Energy Transition Systems & Technologies, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK (2017-2022).
• Scottish Branch Committee Member & Vice Chair, The Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM) (www.ciwem.org) (2015-2018).
• External Panel Member, Institution-Led Review (ILR) of Engineering, Quality Management, Project Management and Waste & Resource Management. University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, UK, 27-28th April 2019.
• Advisory Board Member, World Biogas Association (2016-2018).
• The Saltire Society Civil Engineering Awards Panel member (2016-2018).
• British Standards Institution (BSI) Committee Member (From 2019).
• Advisor ‘Centre d’Excellence d’Afrique pour l’Impact de Développement (Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development in Africa)’, University of Lomé, Togo (funded by the Togolese Government, World Bank, and L’Agence Française de Développement (AFD)). (2019-2024).
• Water pollution control (Clients: Scottish Water, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), United Utilities, etc.)
• Water & Environmental Management in Africa
• Waheed Rasheed Water & Environment Training Course, Aden (Yemen)
• Environmental Management in the Tanzanian Mining Sector
• Environmental Law & Policy in the Oil & Gas Industry
• Municipal & Industrial Wastewater Treatment & Management
• Solid Waste Treatment & Management
• Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Production
• Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)
• Water Resources & Treatment
• Public talk on ‘Making your rubbish work for you' - Cafe Science event on 24th September 2014. The talk discussed the possibilities of using waste as an alternative fuel source with reference to my research.
• The Courier Newspaper Debates: Dundee biomass
The Courier Newspaper hosted a special debate on a Dundee biomass plant plan on 1st May 2013, at the Gardyne Theatre (Dundee). Attended by over 350 concerned members of the public, the debate sought to identify the potential environmental impacts of the proposed plant. Member of a 7-person panel that took questions from the audience. The debate was chaired by Steve Bargeton, Deputy Editor of The Courier Newspaper: https://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/dundee/68894/the-courier-debates-dundee-biomass/
• Scottish Government Project Legend video on ‘Energy in Dundee’: Abertay's Prof Joseph Akunna explains how biogas can benefit the world!:
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