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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

International research project wins top award

Published: 21 March 2014

A major international collaboration, involving biological scientists from Southampton, to develop an early warning system to detect and tackle deliberate contamination in drinking water has been awarded a major French prize.

Professor Bill Keevil and Dr Sandra Wilks from the Centre for Biological Sciences with Professor Ian Croudace and Dr Phil Warwick from Ocean and Earth Science were the only UK researchers among academics and industry professionals from 12 countries who worked on the €7.8million SecurEau European Union four year research project. Led by the University of Lorraine in France, it is one of the first 12 winners of the ‘Stars of Europe' prize awarded by the French government.

"We are pleased the achievements of SecurEau have been recognised with this award," says Bill. "The partnership developed effective tools to respond to contamination in complex systems and highlighted areas of improvement. It is also standardising best practice across Europe."

The Southampton team came up with new methods and technologies including innovative sensors to detect low levels of microbial and radiological contaminants and improve the efficiency of decontamination systems, especially in biofilms. Other project partners developed mathematical models to determine sources and areas of contamination as well as enhanced cleaning methods.

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