Environmental Engineering Research Centre
School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering


Environmental & Engineering Systems is one of three sub-themes set within the EERC’s major, overarching theme of Subsurface Systems and Engineering, SSE (which itself embraces Environmental & Engineering Systems, Groundwater, and Geotechnics). The underlying principle of the Environmental & Engineering Systems sub-theme is to underpin and support engineering solutions to environmental problems and sustainability with sound scientific knowledge and understanding, particularly in the areas of water resource and water quality management (surface and subsurface), land and water pollution remediation and risk management, and fate and transport processes in the natural environment & engineered systems.

N.B. A system can be broadly defined as an integrated set of elements/components and interactions that work as a whole to deliver a defined objective or function (cf. engineered systems), or give rise to an identifiable effect (cf. natural systems) or risk/potential. In Environmental Engineering at QUB we generally have an eye especially to these latter in terms of protecting the environment from the potentially deleterious impacts of Man’s activities, protecting Man from the adverse effects of the environment, and enhancing the environment for Man’s well-being - ie broadly covering issues of environmental impact, mitigation, and amelioration.                                                                                     

Contact (and/or look to Academic Staff): Dr Trevor Elliot

To date Environmental Engineering Systems has secured key funding from 2007-2013 of £2 300 000.

With a recent EPA STRIVE grant (joint with 14CHRONO and School of Biological Sciences at QUB) and strategic linkage to the QUB ASSET Centre for food traceability and authenticity (led by IAFLU) the Stable Isotope Facilities are promoting  multidisciplinary, multi-isotope projects across Ireland and beyond.  Use of compound-specific isotope analyses will further support continued directions in assessment and remediation techniques for sustainable development of contaminated land.

The Environmental Tracers Laboratory continues to promote and develop applications for environmentally-friendly and intelligent tracing of environmental and engineering systems, including reaeration work (on the back of 2007 Winner, Outstanding Paper Award, Water & Environment Journal) but particularly for risk-based assessment of water resources supporting integrated and sustainable management.

Following on from the successful EU TIPOT project, arsenic remediation work in Bangladesh and India is being developed which further will support the recently opened (2008) QUB-India collaborative Eastern India Water Research Institute (EIWRI) based at Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) and QUB’s selection as a provider of training to improve groundwater management in regions of eastern India affected by arsenic.

Recent successful UK EPSRC (joint with CBER and School of Geography) and Nuclear Decomissioning Authority (NDA) grants and a USA user facility grant (William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory user grant joint with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA) provides multi-disciplinary thin-sectioning and support, respectively, for radionuclide fate and transport studies, soil and groundwater remediation, Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) characterisation and 'long-term performance of capping material for waste disposal facilities research’.