School of Engineering

Engineered Biological Systems

Engineered Biological Systems

Engineered biological treatments such as wastewater treatment plants are amazing. Thousands of different types of seemingly anonymous micro-organisms come together in an engineered space to remove pollutants.

Most of the time, these engineered systems work, but occasionally they fail. Successful biological treatment is critical as it remains one of the most cost-effective processes for pollutant removal.

We believe that all biological treatment plants operate to essentially the same rules. Therefore, understanding the rules that govern microbial communities is key to their successful design and operation.

Microbial ecology provides a new scientific basis for engineering better systems. We are applying a synthesis of ecological theories and DNA-based molecular measurement tools to understand and predict how microbial communities assemble, change over time and respond to nutrients and other resources.

In addition, our research focuses on integrating quantitative microbial data into simple process models for microorganisms involved in specific process functions or problems.


Staff: Engineered Biological Systems

Manpreet Bagga
Research Assistant


Professor Thomas Curtis
Professor of Environmental Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6690

Professor Russell Davenport
Engineering for the Environment and Human Health

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5544

Professor David Graham
Professor of Ecosystems Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7930

Dr Elizabeth Heidrich
Newcastle University Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8997

Dr Paola Meynet
Marie Curie and CEG School Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7091

Dr Dana Ofiteru
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5618

Dr Mohammad Rajaeifar
Research Associate


Dr Denis Taniguchi
Research Associate

Dr Pavlina Theodosiou
Research Associate

Professor David Werner
Environmental Systems Modelling

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5099