The following academic unit forms the submission to UoA 14:
Within the School there are five disciplinary research groups. Find out about the projects and staff in each area:
- Environmental engineering
- Geotechnical and structural engineering
- Geodesy and geospatial engineering
- Transport engineering
- Water resources engineering
The Centre for Earth Systems Engineering Research (established in 2009) recognises the strong inter-disciplinary initiatives operating across these groups. Funding from an EPSRC Platform Grant was used.
Our research in this area is making a positive impact on a global scale:
- Cleaning up polluted mine water
Five case studies demonstrate the impact of our research:
Underpinning policy and practice for sustainable catchment managementUnderpinning policy and practice for sustainable catchment management
- A Decision Support Framework for catchment management. In the last 20 years Newcastle has carried out state of the art research into the catchment management which is now being used throughout the UK and the world.
- Local: the Belford catchment study - has established novel approaches to flooding and water quality management.
- National: Newcastle projects have led the way in communicating how agriculture causes flooding and pollution. The outputs now underpin the country's current policy on flooding. The accumulation of catchment studies has led to several recent Environment Agency (EA) and CIRIA (construction industry research and information association) policy reports.
- International: the Nile Basin Initiative (World Bank), is an example of one many research projects that has had policy impact. The backbone of the approach was the Newcastle toolkit (Nile Basin Initiative- Decision support System).
Find out more:
Energy reduction for sustainable wastewater treatmentEnergy reduction for sustainable wastewater treatment
Wastewater treatment is currently a massive user of energy both within utility companies and in industry. Research at Newcastle University is causing a change in the attitudes of wastewater industries, increasing the awareness that wastewater should be viewed as a renewable energy source, not just something unpleasant to get rid of.
Through defining this energy potential and generating deeper understanding in the biological processes that can access it, research has developed the impetus and opportunities for these industries to change.
Specific impact has been made within L'Oreal who have built and are trailing a new design of treatment system developed at Newcastle, and Northumbrian Water Ltd utility company who are investing in a large pilot testing plant to develop and integrate innovative wastewater treatments into their operations.
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- ENERMIN - ENERgy-use MINimization in residuals management in the personal care product industry
Electrokinetic geosynthetics (EKG): revolutionising industry practice in infrastructure management and environmental impact reductionElectrokinetic geosynthetics (EKG): revolutionising industry practice in infrastructure management and environmental impact reduction
The research and development of EKG technology at Newcastle has economic, environmental and technical impacts in three industry sectors.
In civil engineering the impact of EKG technology in reducing the cost and environmental impact on highway maintenance was the subject of a Cabinet Office Report in 2012. The Chief Executive of the Highway Authority has identified EKG as “demonstrating world class performance”.
In mining De Beers have proved that the technology is effective in dewater mine tailings and Exxaro are currently determining if the technology can be used to treat up to 20,000tonnes/day.
The EKG technology is being implemented at Sellafield Nuclear Facility to reduce the volume of (low level) waste sludge by 80%.
Best policy, scientific practice and engineering solutions for mining-polluted river systemsBest policy, scientific practice and engineering solutions for mining-polluted river systems
- Locations and type of interventions required in multi-million pound investment in environmental management of estuarine pollution of the River Tyne determined by Newcastle University team.
- UK Government investment of £10.5m to address metal mine pollution directly informed by Newcastle University research
- Working practices of, and selection of engineering solutions by professionals involved in mining pollution remediation primarily guided by Newcastle University training and R&D.
- Scope and content of most important international guide on mining pollution management shaped by Newcastle team.
- Public policy on water and mining in southern Peru heavily influenced by Newcastle team, and team is formally recognised by Peruvian government as international advisors to local authorities and civil society in one of highest profile mining conflicts in the country.
Robust risk assessments of climate change, flood and droughtRobust risk assessments of climate change, flood and drought
Weather Generator software (WG) produced at Newcastle has been used in industry and UK government applications bringing about a change of practice in climate change impact assessment across multiple sectors. The WG uses stochastic models of rainfall developed at Newcastle over the last 20 years.
A major impact was the provision in 2009 of a web-based WG for generating time series of weather and extremes in the DEFRA UKCP09 national climate projections. This is the official source of information underpinning multi-sectoral impact assessment in the UK leading to adoption of stochastic methods in the water and insurance industries.
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Find out about all our REF 2014 results.