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Research group

Water and Environmental Engineering Group

One small wooden bridge over a calm river

We are a multidisciplinary team of academics, research staff and postgraduates who try to improve the world we live in through engineering solutions.

Part of Engineering


The Water and Environmental Engineering Group (WEEG) seek to improve the world we live in through engineering solutions. We bring a variety of fundamental disciplines and skills to our work in the following areas: 

  • Bioenergy and Organic Resources Research Group (BORRG): Our work encompasses advanced aerobic granular systems and bioelectrochemical systems (Microbial Fuel Cells) for wastewater treatment and biological nutrient recovery; anaerobic digestion; new methods for removal of trace pollutants; and design and optimisation of micro-algal treatment systems. Key bioenergy topics include CO2 biomethanisation, biorefinery technologies and microbial fuel cells to support the creation of a sustainable circular bioeconomy. 
  • Environmental Hydraulics group: Our research includes low head hydropower, such as those in irrigation canals where the energy of the water is used to pump it onto fields higher than canal level or to generate electricity; environmental fluid dynamics to predict scour around bridge piers and offshore structures; transport and mixing of scalars in turbulent flows; mathematical modelling of open channel morphodynamics; and development of pioneering techniques in experimental fluid mechanics.
  • International Centre for Eco-hydraulics Research (ICER): We conduct innovative cross-disciplinary research to quantify the potential environmental impacts of water and energy infrastructure in aquatic habitats, focusing primarily on sustainable fisheries management. We utilise both our own facilities and larger-scale field studies to quantify the response of fish to hydrodynamic and other environmental stimuli (such as acoustics and light) created by anthropogenic structures and activities.

More information on these three research areas can be found using the above links, including information such as news, facilities, videos, resources and detailed projects and publications.

You can also explore our selected projects and publications. If you are considering doing an MSc or PhD with us, investigate our postgraduate opportunities.  

If you are considering doing a PhD in one of our research areas, please contact:

Masters level - taught programmes  

The complete list Masters level courses on offer can be found in our Course finder (filtered by “Civil Engineering”). However, we offer taught MSc programmes where students can choose modules in water and environmental engineering. These include (but may not be limited to):  

People, projects, publications and PhDs


Dr Andrew Vowles

Senior Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Ecological Engineering
  • Freshwater Ecology
  • Ecohydraulics

Mrs Angela Bywater

NIBB Research Fellow

Emeritus Professor Charles Banks

Research interests

  • Controlled anaerobic and aerobic biodegradation of municipal and industrial solid wastes
  • Concepts for an integrated farming system for non competitive food and fuel production
  • Energy production from digestion of crops and agricultural wastes


Address: Boldrewood Campus, Burgess Road, SO16 7QF

Dr Gerald Muller

Associate Professor

Dr Gustavo De Almeida

Associate Professor

Dr Louise Byfield

NIBB Research Fellow

Professor Paul Kemp

Professor of Ecological Engineering

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Get in touch

We welcome enquiries

Water and Environmental Engineering  Group

B178, Boldrewood Campus  

University of Southampton SO16 7QF