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The University of Southampton

Water Engineering

The Water Engineering Group is internationally known for its research.

Some key topics include:

- Wastewater treatment: current research includes anaerobic treatment of wastewater at ambient temperatures, using a variety of technologies from expanded beds to membrane systems; advanced wastewater treatment using aerobic granular systems up to demonstration scale; nutrient removal; design and optimisation of waste stabilisation ponds to maximise wastewater reuse; and new methods for removal of trace pollutants using bio-sorbents and nano-adsorbers. 

- Low head hydropower: New hydropower converters are under development which can use head differences below 2.5 m as a source of renewable energy. Unlike conventional turbine technology, these systems can be used in a cost effective and ecologically acceptable way. Two prototypes built and monitored in the EU FP7-funded project Hylow have shown efficiencies from 75-85%. Tests show that the converters can be used successfully in conjunction with fish and sediment passages. Work to expand the area of application and to improve the technology is continuing. 

- Environmental Fluid Mechanics: research areas include the interaction between Turbulent Boundary Layers with groups of fixed or moving bodies (e.g. wind farms or fish schools); prediction of local scour around bridge piers and off-shore structures; aerodynamic design of novel rain gauges; dispersion of methane emissions from landfills; flow resistance and sediment transport in geophysical flows; wall-turbulence and Lattice-Boltzmann simulations of laminar flows. 

- Hydrology and water resources: EPSRC-funded research on surface zone infiltration into engineered clay slopes has shown that climate change will lead to increased risk of instability. Aquifer recharge modelling shows that water tables may fall between 1-2 m by the end of the century in the UK. Coastal flood risk is being evaluated for new nuclear power stations in the UK, and for Bangladesh as part of the NERC/DFID 'Ecosystems for Poverty Alleviation' programme. The first Windows version of CROPWAT was written in Southampton for the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation. This software is being used worldwide for regional water resources evaluation.

- Flooding and modelling 

Our research focuses on the development of methods to understand, model and mitigate the risk of flooding. Specific interests span across a wide range of scales, from grain-scale fundamental questions through local (e.g. urban flooding) to large-scale flooding problems. Our activities are based on a strong combination of theory, experimentation and the development and application of computational models. A significant part of our current work includes the development of innovative methods for modeling flood propagation problems at high-performance. These algorithms are designed to make efficient use of increasingly vast amounts of data and computational resources available. The experimental component of this research focuses on the interaction between floods and infrastructures. In particular, research is under way to understand the mechanisms of bridge obstructions in rivers, and its effects on the risk of flooding.

Hydrostatic water wheel
Hydrostatic water wheel
Algal raceway
Algal raceway
Algal raceway
Algal raceway
Flood modelling
Flood modelling
List of related projects to
Related ProjectsStatusType
Aerobic granular sludge- formation mechanism, application and its scaling upActiveOther
All-Gas: Industrial scale demonstration of sustainable algae cultures for biofuel productionActiveOther
AmbiGas - Biogas production from high volume industrial effluents at ambient temperaturesActiveOther
Hydrogen and methane production from wastewater with microbial granular sludgeActiveOther
Improving fish passage at low-head river barriersActiveOther
Distribution and activity patterns of brown trout in a chalk riverActiveOther
JAYHUN - Interstate water resource risk management: Towards a sustainable future for the Aral BasinActiveOther
TWINBAS - Twinning European and third countries river basins for development of integrated water resources management methodsActiveOther
Spring ponds - algal biomass systemsActiveOther
Lockerley Water Farm - intermittent loading algal pond systemActiveOther
Development of low-cost methods for treatment and reuse of drainage and urban wastewater by adaptation of waste stabilisation ponds for extreme continental climatesActiveOther
Satellite image processing techniques for effective management of land use and irrigation demand in the Aral basin - INTAS AralActiveOther
Study of the parameters for optimisation of the design and performance of waste stabilisation ponds in extreme continental climates ActiveOther
Creation of a network of scientists and engineers for sustainable management of the water resources of the Aral basinActiveOther
Development of cost-effective methods for minimising risk from heavy metal pollution in industrial cities: A case study of mercury pollution in Pavlodar (TOXICMANAGEMENT)ActiveOther
Study of the mercury of the River NuraActiveOther
Development of options for damage limitation and environmental restoration of mercury-contaminated areas in north-central KazakhstanActiveOther
Assessment of how landfilling could affect the ecology of the far-field aquatic environmentActiveOther
Evaluation of a reticulated foam bioreactorActiveOther
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