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Personal profile


Michael Gormley is the Director of the Water Academy at Heriot-Watt University. He is a  chartered engineer with over 30 years experience in both industry and academia. He is a specialist in water supply and sanitation as well as an electrical building services engineer. He is a named inventor on international patents and has secured continuous research funding since becoming a full time Lecturer in 2006. 


Originally qualified as an Electronics Engineer, he spent 5 years in the field of electronic systems design and computer networking before becoming involved in the technological aspects of Building Services Engineering. During this time he spent a two year sabbatical in Uganda where he developed an interest in the provision of water supply and sanitation in low/middle income communities. He completed an MSc in Building Services Engineering in 1998 at Heriot-Watt University for which he obtained a distinction.

In 2000 he joined the Drainage Research Team to work on the development of a positive air pressure transient attenuator (PAPA) for use in building drains. www.Studor.net/papa  The results of this development were submitted as an MPhil thesis which was awarded in 2002. Following the work on the PAPA he undertook a PhD study into the interaction of solids in horizontal drainage systems. He graduated with a PhD in 2004. He is a named inventor on a patent for a sonar-like system for the identification of defects in building drainage systems. He was appointed as a Lecturer in the Architectural Engineering programme at the School of the built Environment and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in August 2012.


Since 2011 he has developed research interests in the field of pathogen cross transmission and cross contamination and leads a team of interdisciplinary researchers including microbiologists and engineers investigating Pathogen Research in the Built Environment (PRoBE) with close links to public health engineering.

His current research interests can be summarised as follows; fundamental research on numerical modelling of fluid flows in water supply and sanitation systems; applied to three broad fields of study   – building drainage system product development, public health engineering and water and sanitation in an international development context.

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Drainage Engineering & Materials Science
Seals Engineering & Materials Science
drainage Earth & Environmental Sciences
airflow Earth & Environmental Sciences
sanitation Earth & Environmental Sciences
Vents Engineering & Materials Science
atmospheric pressure Earth & Environmental Sciences
pathogen Earth & Environmental Sciences

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2001 2020

6 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Energy resources
Reactive power
Open Access
Energy resources
Reactive power
68 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Tall buildings
Automatic teller machines
Patents and inventions
22 Downloads (Pure)

Untangling the causes of the 2016–18 Cholera epidemic in Yemen

Gormley, M., Jun 2018, In : Lancet Global Health. 6, 6, p. e600-e601 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Open Access
Relief Work
19 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Risk assessment
risk assessment


Carter Bronze medal for best original research paper , 2007 (Co-Author)

Michael Gormley (Recipient), 2007

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Activities 2009 2019

  • 3 Participation in conference
  • 3 Publication peer-review
  • 2 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 1 Hosting a visiting group

UAE Trade Delegation to the UK

Michael Gormley (Chair), Alexandra Jane Wyatt MacLaren (Organiser), Olisanwendu Ogwuda (Organiser)
18 Mar 201921 Mar 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventHosting a visiting group

The Lancet Global Health (Journal)

Michael Gormley (Peer reviewer)
1 Mar 2018 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

4th International Emerging Technology Symposium 2014

Michael Gormley (Invited speaker)
23 Apr 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

4th International Emerging Technology Symposium 2014

Michael Gormley (Invited speaker)
23 Apr 201425 Apr 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Sanitation Community of Practice (SanCop)

Michael Gormley (Invited speaker)
19 Apr 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course