• EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

  • Data Handling for water resources planning and management
  • Water resources planning under climate change and variability
  • Data mining and Artificial intelligence (AI) to water and wastewater related problems
  • Software sensors applications to water and wastewater quality
  • Artificial intelligence modeling for the operation, control and optimization of wastewater treatment plants
  • Modeling of evaporation and evapotranspiration and application in irrigation water scheduling and application
  • Uncertainty management in water and environmental modeling
  • Data clustering algorithm to water and wastewater problems
  • Water supply system management, design and optimization


Dr Rabee Rustum is a civil and environmental engineer specialising in hydroinformatics with experience in water and wastewater projects. Dr Rustum graduated with BSc (First Class Position) degree from Damascus University, Syria, in 2001. After graduation, he worked as an environmental engineer for the Water Pollution Control Department, Ministry of Irrigation, Syria. In 2002, he got a Post Graduate Diploma (First Class Position) in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Damascus University, Syria; and in 2003, he obtained a Master's Degree in environmental risk management from Poitiers University, France. He obtained his PhD in civil engineering from Heriot-Watt University, the UK, in 2009; thesis title: Modelling activated sludge wastewater treatment plants using artificial intelligence techniques (fuzzy logic and neural networks). From June 2008, He worked as a water and wastewater hydraulic modeller for Mouchel Group, Stirling office, Scotland, UK. In September 2009, he joined King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia as an assistant professor in environmental engineering before joining the water research group at Heriot-Watt University.

Dr Rustum is currently an Associate Professor in water and environmental engineering, Associate Dean of the University (Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences)‎, and the Director of Academic Quality (School of Energy, Geosciences, Infrastructure, and Society)‎. Previously, He was the Director of Studies for the Civil Engineering program at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai Campus. He has been working in higher education in Syria, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates for the past 23 years. He joined the Dubai campus as an Assistant Professor in 2012. Since then, he has led the MSc program in water resources and the MSc program in civil engineering and construction management. Two highly successful programs have turned out numerous international graduates who currently hold senior positions of responsibility in their own countries.    He is currently a member of different academic committees, such as the Dubai academic council, the chair of the school studies committee, the industrial advisory board, and the University Disciplinary Committee. He was elected to the University Senate in 2020 for a three-year tenure and in 2023 he was re-elected for another three years. He is a senior fellow of the advanced higher education Academy (SFHEA), a fellow of the Institution of civil engineers (FICE) and a Fellow of the chartered institute of water and environmental management (FCIWEM). 

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Associate Dean of the University (Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences)‎, May 2023-now.
  • Director of Academic Quality, School of Energy, Geosciences, Infrastructure, and Society, Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, Dubai, and Malaysia), May 2022-now;
  • Director of Studies (Associate Professor), Civil Engineering Department, Dubai Campus, Heriot-Watt University, September 2017- August 2022;
  • Assistant Professor, Heriot-Watt University, Dubai campus, February 2012- September 2017;
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, September 2009- February 2012;
  • Water and Wastewater Hydraulic Modeller, Mouchel Group, Stirling office, Scotland, UK, June 2008- January 2009;
  • PhD candidate (Tutor), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, September 2005- June 2008;
  • Teaching assistant, Department of Environmental Engineering, Damascus University, Syria, June 2003- September 2004;
  • Environmental Engineer, Water Pollution Control Department, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Syria, October 2001- June 2003;

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


  • AI Indexes (General)
  • Data Handling, Water resources planning and management, climate change, Data mining, Artificial intelligence (AI), Software sensors, water and wastewater quality, evaporation, evapotranspiration, irrigation, Uncertainty management, Data clustering, Water supply, Hydrology, hydraulics.
  • Water Treatment
  • wastewater
  • fuzzy Logic
  • Neural Network
  • water supply
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • environmental health
  • TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
  • TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Best Paper Certificate

    Rustum, Rabee (Recipient), 22 Dec 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)