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Research interests

Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) design and optimisation Drainage and Water Supply (DaWS) Optimisation – Towards a Sustainable Urban Water Cycle Predicting and Managing Flood Risks Associated with Debris at Structures: Holistic Serviceability Approaches Holistic sewerage asset management The hydraulic and operational performance of roof drainage - particularly for large buildings.


I began my research career in 1992 working under the supervision of Professor Richard Ashley (Now MD, Pennnine Water Group, Sheffield University) in the Urban Water Technology Centre (UWTC) within the University of Abertay on a high profile EPSRC funded project [GRH43373] investigating sediment and pollutant transport within combined sewer networks. A strong element of my PhD work comprised data collection in the Dundee sewer system. Following this work in Dundee, I moved to a Post-Doctoral Research Associate position in Heriot-Watt University’s Department of Building Engineering and Surveying where I worked with Professor J.A. Swaffield on an internationally leading EPSRC funded research project [GRK78812] which involved the numerical and experimental simulation of pressure transient propagation within two phase full-bore flows at sub-atmospheric pressures in siphonic roof drainage systems. The numerical models produced as part of the siphonic rood drainage research was based on an unsurpassed programme of laboratory and field data collection. After securing a further three years of EPSRC funding in the siphonic roof drainage field, in August 2000, I moved within Heriot-Watt University to a lecturing position in the Department of Civil & Offshore Engineering (Now School of the Built Environment). Since that time, my research has been supported by EPSRC, Heriot-Watt University, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER). Evidence of research quality is as follows: Sewer Sediments Research – the results, data collection techniques and terminology developed as part of my PhD work are still widely referenced in sewerage design guidance (e.g. BS EN 752-4), academic research, expert subject reviews (e.g. IWA Scientific and Technical Report No.14 – Solids in Sewers) and UG text books (e.g. Urban Drainage, Spon Press). Siphonic Roof Drainage Research – the models, laboratory facilities and results established as part of this research are recognised as internationally leading. This research has contributed directly to design standards recently established in the UK and USA. Sewerage Asset Management – this work is recognised as world-class. As well as producing world class research outputs, the methodologies developed to profile blockages in sewerage systems have been the subject of a successful EPSRC application (as part of FRMRC II) in which I will lead the further development of the approach to profile watercourse blockages (at bridges etc). .

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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